Jordan: Soap workshop for women in a refugee camp

Training and equipment for women in the Za’atari refugee camp to create, make and sell fragranced soaps.


The civil war in Syria that started in 2011 has caused millions of people to be displaced within the country or forced into exile. Many Syrians live in neighbouring Jordan as refugees, whether in villages or in special camps. The Za’atari camp in the north of the country is one such home to 80,000 people.

Fragrance creation training

A group of Givaudan employees from France, Dubai and Egypt have teamed up with Professor Helen Storey from London School of Fashion to provide training for a group of women to make and sell fragranced soaps. The aim is to establish a self-sustaining small business to increase their financial autonomy.

The project started with the training of an initial group of 20 women. Some of them have subsequently trained other women, sharing their new expertise and extending the skill base within the refugee community. 

As of 2021, a second group of 50 women and teenage girls are being trained to make and sell fragranced soaps and other cosmetics products.

An essential aspect of the project is the infrastructure provided through the construction of a “Beauty compound” consisting of a soap-making laboratory, a beauty salon, a showroom and shop and a day-care centre. Finally, business models such as sales through Jordanian bazaars and possibilities of partnership with Jordanian companies ensure the sustainability of the project.

    “Working with the women in Za’atari has been an inspiration to all the Givaudan team. Their enthusiasm and resilience in the face of extreme hardship, their desire to learn and determination to build a better future for their families is incredible. They have a lot to teach us.”

    Anne, Givaudan employee 


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