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...
Apr 15, 2013

Helping Women Victims of Domestic Violence Find Employment

With support from generous donors like you, NEF has helped dozens of rural Armenians develop small enterprises, improve their income, and contribute to economic recovery in Armenia.

Now we are excited to share that this effort is expanding to help women who are victims of domestic violence, a widespread problem in Armenia. According to a study conducted by Amnesty International, nearly 60% of Armenian women reported experiencing physical abuse.

In this new focus, NEF is pleased to announce a partnership with the Women's Support Center. The Center is located in the capital city of Yerevan and serves women from other urban centers as well as rural areas.

Together we’ll help at least 50 Armenian women over the next 18 months. All of the women will receive training in job and advocacy skills. They will have the option to either pursue a job with an existing business or choose to receive management training and support to launch their own small micro-enterprise.

NEF and its local partners are currently researching the most viable types of micro-enterprise and employment opportunities for women in Yerevan and the next largest city of Gyumri. In May, we’ll begin training sessions with the women and with it their journey toward financial independence.

Your gift is helping entrepreneurs build strong businesses, create jobs, and contribute to the revitalization of their rural Armenian communities. Now, you are helping women find employment so they can build a new life for their families.

THANK YOU for supporting this critical work!

Apr 15, 2013

Over 500 Farmers Receiving Support in Sudan

In recent months, NEF has expanded its work to restore acacia tree forests in Sudan and help more farmers who harvest gum arabic from the trees. Acacia trees are a vital source of income for families in Sudan. The trees also help to stabilize the soil and to prevent increasing desertification.

With gifts from you and other Global Giving donors, 520 additional Sudanese farmers are receiving technical support and financial aid to improve their production.

Our efforts will also increase the farmers’ income. This will allow farmers to better provide for their families, as well as re-invest in their businesses and struggling communities. 

Here’s how NEF is helping the 520 farmers:

  • Distributing seeds. While seeds are plentiful in places like the U.S., they are a precious commodity across much of Africa. NEF is stepping in to fill the supply gap by providing 150 tree seeds to each farmer.
  • Providing training. We offer the farmers a full range of technical support, including how to determine the best locations to plant, instruction in more efficient harvesting techniques, and guidance in improved storage of the gum arabic (so it remains a high quality until it reaches the market).
  • Offering follow-up support. We continue to offer technical support to the farmers on an ongoing basis.

The participating farmers are all members of Gum Arabic Producer Associations. These associations are comparable to farmer cooperatives in the U.S. – they’re a way for farmers to organize, support each other, and have a greater impact together than any one single farmer could on his/her own.

In this expansion, we’re working with four new producer associations – so all of the 520 farmers are receiving supplies and training from NEF for the first time. 

We are also continuing to offer follow-up support to other farmers who we’ve worked with over the past two years.

Sudan is a complicated place to operate. Our local partners are essential to make this work possible. We’re grateful to partner with the National Forestry Corporation and the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Wealth in North Kordofan.

Your support to vulnerable gum arabic farmers in North Kordofan helps build peace and promote sustainable livelihoods in Sudan. Thank you! 

Apr 15, 2013

Over 400 Families Increasing Their Food Security

Families prepare to plant crops
Families prepare to plant crops

With your support, NEF is helping 440 families in Mali increase their food production and their income.

Since our January report, we have distributed 1,775 kilograms of seeds in eight villages in need: Bagui, Korientzé, N'Gorodia (rural commune of Korombana), Dari, Deri (rural commune of N'Diaptodji), Mounouwel, Kikara (rural commune of Gandamia), and Gafity (rural commune of Debere).

Their new crops will include shallots, potatoes, tomatoes, beets, cabbages, lettuce, and peppers.  The families will eat a portion of the food they produce and sell the remainder to earn an income.

Our team of experts in Mali provided a variety of support to village farmers during the planting season. This included practical advice on techniques for increasing production, such as the use of organic fertilizer, transplanting seedlings, efficient irrigation, and protecting crops against insects.

With the coming rains, the seedlings will begin to mature into productive plants. Our team will continue to provide ongoing technical support to the farmers through the rain and harvest season. We will evaluate food production in the villages to see which methods were most beneficial in helping farmers increase their production, and which crops grow best in a given area.

Women benefit greatly from vegetable production supported by NEF. The gardening activities provide women with the opportunity to earn an income without leaving their village. There are few other ways for them to earn a living except to travel to cities, such as Mopti or Bamako, where they can work as laborers or in private homes.

THANK YOU for supporting these families in Mali as they recover from drought and occupation!

The crops begin to grow!
The crops begin to grow!
Families take a break from working in the field
Families take a break from working in the field
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