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...
May 15, 2013

14 Women Receive Funding for their Businesses

Women share ideas about business opportunities
Women share ideas about business opportunities

We continue to help Palestinian women find ways to earn an income and build financial independence by helping them develop small businesses.

In recent months, NEF has worked with over 30 women in the Nablus-Asira and Jenin-Qabatiya clusters of villages to identify business opportunities in their communities – including in agriculture and crafts.

Twenty-three women participated in our multi-day training workshop in Asira. The women learned about microenterprise development, discussed gender issues, and received training in a variety of skills. Topics included: gender equity, project management, accounting and finance, marketing, business plan development, and more.

Following the training, 14 women received funding for their business plans to either grow or launch their own small business!

In the coming months we’ll continue to provide similar training to women in more villages and fund additional business plans. 

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

Women in Asira discuss gender issues
Women in Asira discuss gender issues
Discussion during economic assessment in Qabatiya
Discussion during economic assessment in Qabatiya
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! 

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