Gaza Emergency Appeal - Donate Now
Mr. Khader Shafoot has worked in the clothing sector for more than 30 years, sewing clothes with his brothers since he was a teenager. In 2015, he received a grant from the Red Cross of USD $4,500 to open his small workshop, which he used to purchase sewing machines and hire a number of workers. The workshop gradually expanded as it used the income generated to purchase new machinery and tools.
Prior to the Israeli military bombardment of Gaza in May 2021, a total of 19 people worked in this facility. The factory sews clothing and sells in bulk to several stores in Gaza. Four of Khader’s brothers and two of his nephews are among the workers, in addition to three women from his family. The rest are workers from outside Khader’s family. The factory supported approximately 90 people in total.
The workshop has three rooms inside the building where Khader lives with his family, and was severely damaged during the May 2021 bombardment. The direct targeting of the strikes knocked down a five-story building adjacent to Khader’s house, which also caused severe damage to the workshop and much of its equipment. As a result, the workshop stopped work completely for over three months. Then work slowly began to return, but only at 20% of the production capacity before the attacks. The destruction of some specialized machines led to a higher production cost, as the clothes were sent to other workshops for completion before being distributed for sale.
The grant in this project enabled Khader to replace some essential equipment that had been damaged (i.e. sewing, ironing, vacuum, and pressing machines), in addition to supplying materials such as fabric, zippers, and threads. As a result, the factory regained 100% of its production capacity and rehired the same number of workers again. The factory produces an average of 28-35 thousand trousers monthly. Each item costs 16 shekels, and Khader sells it for 22 shekels, with a profit of 6- shekels per piece. A skilled worker in the workshop is paid up to 1,700 shekels (approx. £395) per month, unskilled or part-time workers are paid 400-800 Shekels (approx. £93 – £186) per month.
“Our economic situation was good before the war. We had regular work, and we were well-staffed. When we first saw the destruction of the workshop, everyone was very upset because it supported 90 people.”
“The workshop is now back to full production capacity with the same number of staff. The economic activities are fully up and running. I bought additional materials with the income generated. We didn’t think this could happen any time soon, especially since the process of rebuilding the Gaza Strip has not begun yet.”
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