After a difficult winter with stormy weather and damage to our project, a new phase started with your support and a generous donation from Lush, currently enableling us to prepare another 9 gardens.
Dear supporter of our community in Deheishe,
This last winter brought us many unexpected things; a heavy blizzard but little rain, great damage to all gardens but also overwelming support from our community and a continuation of our partnership with Lush. Though these last things are very positive for our rooftop garden project and the new participants, the little rain and the problems with the UNRWA make many Palestinian refugees cautious about the coming months... The harvest is expected to be less this year because of the little rain and food prices are very likely to rise. Meanwhile the shrinking budget of UNRWA leads to fears of further cuts in services and less families that will be able to count on food assistance from the agency. This takes place while research has shown more refugee families are getting more and more food INsecure!
With your help, Karama continues to look for solutions that raise our community to more self support and independence and less relience on food aid from outside. Even more in the current situation, it remains crucial to bring back agriculture into the lives of the refugees. Through the support of other people who believe in these ideas, this is possible! Currently we are on the brick of including more women in our project. Lush Charity Pot UK has pledged new funds to include another 9 women in this initiative. Soon they will be climbing on their roofs, watering their plants and seeing their harvest grow!
But before the project really takes off, Yasser has made sure the new constructions will fit our needs and will offer enough protection and opportunities, while remaining small and light enough for the women's roofs. Also the trainer has been selected who will assist in the delivery of the materials and will guide the women during the first months. As soon as all the participants are selected they will hold their first meeting together - that will be followed by many more to be a central tool in their empowerment!
Your support remains very much appreciated and needed, also in the form of sharing this project online with your friends and connections! In addition, donations will be very well used in this project. With 50 dollars Karama can provide better seeds for the participants while 100 dollars will keep the trainer involved for another week in the project to support the women! Any amount will help us to grow this project and help families become more food security while 1500USD will include a 10th family in this project!
Keep an eye on our Facebook page if you are keen to see more photo's!
Thank you for being part of this project and the support you give to the women in our society.
This is the final update in the micro project you supported - but our project will continue and new updates will be posted on Facebook, our website and our other project page on Global Giving!
Look out for our next update were we will introduce you to some of the new participants!
After the blizzard, your support helped us get back on our roofs again!
Dear donor to our rooftop gardens project!
This short message is to let you know our appreciation of your support and to inform you of the progress made. Originally this project page was established to collect additional funding for three women who needed to create extra covering around their rooftop garden for the winter season. Soon after the first donations were given we did construct a greenhouse with two of the women, which allowed them to continue working on their roofs while the weather was turning colder. Karama showed you these results in the pictures uploaded on our Global Giving account and the women were frequently on their roofs, expecting harvest from green beans, lettuce, zuccini and tomatoes.
Halfway December however, Palestine was struck by a very heavy snow storm – something that took everybody by surprise and came as a change from the normal winter season. Three days of heavy snowfall and several days of cold wind and no electricity resulted in the complete destruction of most gardens. The green beans and zuccini plants that were growing up in the air supported by ropes, came down together with the construction that covered the tubes with plastic. Though many efforts were undertaken by the participants to save some of their work, only a few plants survived this storm.
After we informed you about this tragedy, you were so generous to support our project and help us get back on our roof! You funds have been used to place a stronger metal frame with 2 of the women involved and help others rearrange their garden again. Not all gardens have been replanted yet, due to lack of funds as well as hestitation with some women to start again while the weather is still cold. The plastic should provide enough protection during the winter, so it is our aim to help everybody plant again in the coming month. In that way the women will be able to overcome the loss from this winter and regain their confidence.
Seeing the harvest getting destroyed and starting from zero again is not easy. But the families showed resilience throughout the whole storm, that left most in the cold without electricity for several days. And with your help we can now already post you the pictures with the first sings of restoration! The women notice again that the soil will continue to provide and plants will start to grow again.. thus it is our aim to use these resources. Our roofs, soil and resilience are important assets that we should use for our community's benefit, no matter the setbacks we experience. This projects allows these women in Deheishe to practice their steadfastness and we look forward to their sure reward - the harvest and a positive incentive for their whole family.
Thank you for being part of this initiative!
Maybe you saw the images on the news; an unexpected heavy snow storm was raging over Palestine and other parts of the Middle East in the past days. Several centimetres of snow, low temperatures and hard wind caused roads to be blocked, electricity to shut down and forced many people to stay in their houses. Many children here in Deheishe had some very colds days, as their families were unable to heat their houses or cook.
For Karama Organization the storm brought a double disaster. The snowfall caused several of the greenhouses to break down, destroying most of the vegetables and the constructions. In the low temperatures none of the plants could survive without protection, meaning that all but one woman have lost all of their harvest. Although everybody did all they could to protect the greenhouses just recently constructed, there was so much snow falling in the nights that we could not do enough. All our energy, time and investment from donors was greatly damaged in just a few hours.
This great setback however cannot keep us down. Now the sky cleared up, the women are already cleaning their roofs and preparing for a new turn. Karama volunteers have started to rebuild some of the gardens, but we do really need your support for this! If only 50 of our supporters would donate a small amount before the coming holidays, Karama would be able to fund a great deal of the reparations!
Karama asks you to help us overcome this great loss and give the participants another chance to work in their gardens. Please use our page on the Global Giving website to show your support this December. Through the Global Giving website your transaction is safe and easy – that is why it is the most preferred method for donation.
Thank you so much for your support in these last weeks of 2013. We can imagine many charities might ask for your attention so we truly appreciate the time and help you are giving us! Karama is determinant to close this year on a positive note and with your help we can deliver this to the women of Deheishe!
Dear supporters of the women in Deheishe!
With this small report we are eager to give you an update on the progress made in the last weeks. Several of you have reached out to us and showed your support – either through donating or asking about the progress. We at Karama really appreciate your help and your efforts to stay in touch – thank you so much! Hopefully this small note – and especially the photos – will keep you connected to our efforts in Deheishe and the work we are trying to do in our society. Do not hesitate to let us know what you think – email, Facebook responses and comments on GlobalGiving will be read by us!
At the end of October we started a new fundraising campaign to create a better protected shield around three rooftop gardens. The plants of these women were more affected by the wind and this experience made Karama realize the gardens could be much for efficient when the cover works as a green house. The previous winter, which normally starts here in December, saw less growth in the gardens than we had hoped. How could we improve this, was the question in our organization. The price of vegetables is often rising in the winter months. Especially this year, as farmers experienced worse weather conditions leading to less harvest, the price of daily used vegetables like tomatoes have again gone up.
The innovative solution we came up with for the women was the creation of an improved greenhouse around the garden! Thicker plastic and a wooden frame makes sure all the heat stays in, while the sun can still reach the garden. With your help we have already been able to fund some of the constructions, though more is needed! In the past weeks we continued to build and take care of our gardens. By now this has led to great growth, as the women were able to keep much higher temperatures inside. The lettuce grew much quicker than normally and also the green beans and cucumbers climbed high in the air. In the new construction, the tubes are lower enabling a more efficient use of the space available. Check out the pictures to see this with your own eyes – the green bean and cucumbers plants eagerly use the robes to climb up and find their way through the whole greenhouse. Now the expected harvest is much larger than we would normally achieve on such a small space!
This year we also experiment with potatoes in the rooftop garden at Karama – so we can hopefully add this stock to the rest of the gardens next season. Starting with some pieces of potatoes on the bottom of a folded woollen sack, we continue to add soil to the sack as the plants are branching out. The sack, that can be unfolded until 1,5 meter high, will allow the potato plants to grow higher will getting roots along this whole height. The roots that will grow in the full height of the sack will deliver much more harvest than grown in a normal tube or field.
Now the first cucumbers could be eaten by the families this week – a great first result of our hard work. The coming weeks will hopefully give more harvest, tomatoes, green beans and peppers are expected later this year. We will keep you updated when the women will be able to make the first meals from their rooftop production – they are looking very much forward to this and we hope you will too!
Donations are still very much needed to fund the changes made. Your help is much appreciated by all of us in Deheishe – we send you a big thank you for your support!
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