Near East Foundation (NEF)

Founded in 1915, the Near East Foundation's mission is to help build more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive communities in the Middle East and Africa through education, governance, and economic development initiatives. NEF is an operational NGO with projects in seven countries -- Armenia, Egypt, Jordan, Mali, Morocco, Palestine, and Sudan -- where we work to directly improve the lives of tens of thousands of vulnerable people through programs in Peacebuilding, Civic Engagement and Education, Sustainable Agriculture, and Business Development. In the field, approximately 50 NEF staff members-all of them from the countries in which they work-partner with local organizations to find homeg...
Nov 13, 2013

44 Women-owned Businesses Launching in Palestine!

A beekeeping entrepreneur in Nablus-Asira
A beekeeping entrepreneur in Nablus-Asira

It has been an incredible time for women entrepreneurs in the West Bank participating in NEF’s program to help them launch their own small businesses!

Because of the generosity of donors like you, NEF will be able to provide up to 30% of their start-up funds in the form of grants that do not need to be repaid.

After receiving skills training and carefully developing their business plans, and now with funding, the women entrepreneurs are at the stage of starting their businesses!

As you can see in the pictures, the 44 women-owned businesses range from farming to food processing and also other areas – like craft production or retail shops.

During this time as the women launch their businesses, we’ve continued to provide additional training and mentoring support to help them navigate the at times difficult process of becoming a business owner.

THANK YOU for your support of this vital work to create economic opportunities for impoverished Palestinian women and their families!

Launching a home gardening small enterprise
Launching a home gardening small enterprise
Operating a school canteen serving children snacks
Operating a school canteen serving children snacks
Oct 14, 2013

Support for Gum Arabic Farmers Shows Results

In the last quarter, farmers in Sudan received 5,000 Acacia Senegal tree seedlings from the Near East Foundation (NEF) as efforts to ensure the future of an important source of income continue.

The trees provide gum arabic, a stabilizer used in products as varied as soft drinks and watercolor paint. Sudan is one of the top producers of gum arabic in the world.

NEF not only is training small farmers in methods to increase gum arabic production in the present, the organization also is working to ensure there will be enough trees for future production.

NEF held meetings to explain to communities why it's important to protect the Acacia trees, and also worked with Sudan's National Forest Corporation to set new rules and procedures for protecting the trees. Along with distributing the seedlings, NEF and the National Forest Corporation recently dispensed seeds.

The amount of gum arabic being harvested already is increasing as a result of NEF's training on production and small business operations. As a result, area farmers are starting to see an increase in their incomes!

Your support is vital to Sudan's gum arabic farmers and to NEF's efforts on their behalf. Thank you for helping these farmers support themselves and their families and for making sure there are Acacia trees for future generations!

Oct 14, 2013

Business Skills Training Underway!

The first business skills training sessions begin this month (October) for the women taking part in NEF’s newest initiative in Armenia.

Over the next 18 months, some 50 women will be trained in business and job skills in space provided by SME Development National Center of Armenia, so that these survivors of domestic violence will be able to start their own businesses or find jobs that will lead to their economic independence.

This quarter also saw NEF complete its assessment of the economy and labor market for the city of Yerevan.

The training follows focus groups that NEF and its partners conducted to determine the women’s existing job skills and to better understand why they want to start a business or what they are looking for in a job. 

THANK YOU for supporting this program! Helping women gain skills that will lead to employment may help them find alternatives to their abusive homes.

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