The Emergency Jobs Program (EJP), funded by USAID, aims to alleviate humanitarian and unemployment problems and to lay the foundations for more sustainable economic growth through reconstruction, rehabilitation and maintenance of important infrastructure. Projects are designed in close collaboration with communities, the public sector, and the private sector. We aim to complete 150 infrastructure projects. To date, around 100,000 days of employment have been created through EJP projects.
August 2009— CHF International completed phase one of a joint infrastructure project in the West Bank village of Beit Ur al Tahta. USAID provided $250,000 to the project and an additional $150,000 donation to the project was made by the Sheikh Mohammed Shami Foundation.
CHF completed construction of road shoulders, sidewalks and retaining walls for the main road in the village and to the road leading to a girls’ school. The sidewalks have provided safe pedestrian access to the residents and especially to students walking to the newly completed school.
The project is being implemented in coordination with the Beir Ur al-Tahta Village Council, for the benefit of the 5,000 residents of the community and 20,000 people from the surrounding communities who regularly pass through the village. To date, 2,972 jobs days have been created for 70 local workers, creating much needed employment opportunities.
In phase two and three of this project, the sidewalks will be expanded to reach two additional schools and a kindergarten, and street lights will be installed along the completed stretch of sidewalks, road shoulders, and retaining walls. Your donations can help to complete this work, to make life safer for Palestinians, create employment and create a future.
Bido, Jerusalem Governorate, West Bank – In the presence of Mr. David Harden, USAID Deputy Mission Director, Mr. Muhammad Khaled, Jerusalem Governorate Representative for Bido, and Ms. Lana Abu Hijleh CHF International Country Director for the West Bank and Gaza, Bido village celebrated the opening of the women’s center located on a newly constructed floor at the Village Council building in downtown Bido.
As part of the celebration, Bido Women’s Association organized a holiday crafts fair along with women from neighboring communities. The fair will run for two days at the new facility and will feature traditional Palestinian handicrafts and homemade food items for sale.
The new center was constructed as part of the Emergency Jobs Program (EJP), implemented by CHF International. The center will serve as a new facility for the Bido Women’s Association and will be used for hosting the association’s various activities, meetings and community events.
Bido Women’s Association, established in 2005, supports activities for women from Bido and surrounding communities, including courses in hairdressing, sewing, knitting, traditional crafts production, computer skills and aerobics. The center also provides counseling for victims of domestic violence and preparation courses for high school students studying for University entrance examinations.
The project will serve around 1,550 women from Bido and the neighboring communities and their families. During the three months of construction, the project created 1,180 working days and provided job opportunities for 64 workers.
Complimentary to the project, and as part of the ceremony, the Bido Village Council signed an agreement with Creative Associates International, with funding from the U.S. State Department, to provide furnishings for the new center.
EJP alleviates humanitarian and short-term unemployment problems, while laying the foundations for a more sustainable and robust economic development, through labor-intensive community-managed methods for the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of small-scale infrastructure. Over the life of the three-year program, EJP aims to improve the quality of life for at least one million Palestinians in over one hundred communities in the West Bank through construction of approximately one hundred and fifty small-scale infrastructure projects.
Thank you for your support that has made this center possible. We hope you are as proud of it as we are and we look forward to any comments or suggestions from our donors.
Ramallah - West Bank, January 25, 2009 – CHF International is pleased to announce that in partnership with the American Charities for Palestine, with funding from the Sheikh Mohammed Shami Foundation, we have commenced a Three Hundred Thousand Dollar ($300,000) development project in the West Bank village of Beit Ur Al-Tahta. ACP, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is a sister organization of ATFP dedicated to help build the education and health sectors in Palestine.
A generous donation of $100,000 to ACP was made by the Sheikh Mohammed Shami Foundation headed by Mr. Farouk Shami of Houston, Texas, Mr. Shami is a member of the Board of the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) and a well-known philanthropist. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) matched and supplemented this donation with a $200,000 contribution through the Emergency Jobs Program (EJP) implemented by CHF International. This collaboration was made possible by the Memorandum of Understanding signed by ACP and USAID in August 2008, and between ACP and CHF International in January 2009.
The funds will be used to complete installation of street lights along all of the village roads, including the road leading to a new girls’ high school already donated by the Shami Foundation. Funds will also be leveraged to expand CHF International’s planned construction of road shoulders, sidewalks and retaining walls for the main road in the village and to the road leading to the Mohammad Al-Shami Girls’ School. Construction of the sidewalks will provide safe pedestrian access to the residents and especially to students travelling every day to the newly completed school and to other schools located in the village.
This project will be implemented in coordination with the Beit Ur al-Tahta Village Council, for the benefit of the 4,413 residents of the community and 20,000 people from the surrounding communities who pass through the village on a regular basis. An estimated 3,625 job days will be created for local workers as a result of this project, creating much needed employment opportunities in an area that has around 50% unemployment.
The Emergency Jobs Program (EJP), funded by USAID, aims to alleviate humanitarian and short-term unemployment problems, laying the foundations for more sustainable economic vitality through labor-intensive and community managed methods for the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of small-scale infrastructure. Projects are designed in close collaboration with communities, the public sector, and the private sector. During the project period up to 150 small scale infrastructure projects will be implemented. To date, more than 53,725 person days of employment have been created through EJP infrastructure projects.
Training Workshop in Marketing Skills: Opening Doors in Remote Villages
Through organizational assessments, strategizing, work plan development, and capacity building activities focusing on four Palestinian women’s organizations, the Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative (WEEI), funded by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), aims to enhance the capacity of women economically and socially.
The program targets remote villages in which small communities of women are hungry for a chance to develop their management and production abilities in order to increase family incomes. Below are testimonies from three beneficiaries on the benefits of the program to their respective endeavors thus far:
Umm Bilal reports, “I live in a village with a population of 7,000 people, mostly women and children, [and] they put high hopes on our association - to date more than one hundred and fifty women have participated in our activities. With this growth, our main problem is that we don’t have any current projects which can absorb this broad interest. After my participation in this training, I can think of many projects that we had not thought about previously. With these new ideas, we will be able to support wider participation.”
Abla from the Battir Association said "I am one of [the] few women who were able to come here to Ramallah for the training because of social pressures faced by women in the village, but I am happy to be able to transfer information that I have received here to the women there and to start planning for our project which is a handcrafts project. We are also now looking for new ways of funding.”
Her fellow participant, Roqayh Meraay, said, "Our main problem is marketing our products to local and foreign markets. Through this workshop, we learned how to start projects and [to use] new marketing methods. We also learned how to differentiate our products from those of other societies. Sharing successes and lessons learned with the other four participating groups in the workshop was also of great benefit.”
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