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, Sudan, Senegal, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Palestinian Territories and Egypt-where we work to directly improve the lives of tens of thousands of vulnerable people through programs in peacebuilding, civic engagement, 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 o...
Apr 10, 2014

Over 30 Tons of Food Produced in Recovering Communities

Market gardens produced over 33 tons of food.
Market gardens produced over 33 tons of food.

In recent months, the farmers you have supported were able to produce 33.7 tons of food, with an estimated value of 8,425,000 CFA – that’s nearly $18,000!

Most communities in northern Mali experienced a poor agricultural season and they are still struggling to recover from drought and political unrest. Despite this, NEF’s support in eight villages—made possible by generous donors like you—helped to ensure food security and income for hundreds of families. 

NEF provided support to over 400 people – nearly 80% of them women – to develop and improve production through market gardens.  Farmers produced crops including shallot, tomatoes, lettuce, eggplants, peppers, carrots, and beets.

For vulnerable families in the region, the impact of these market gardens has been significant. 

One beneficiary from Dari in the rural commune of Diaptodji estimated that her personal revenues from the sales of products have been nearly 150,000 CFA ($350).

“My revenues have allowed me to help our family with daily expenses for food, healthcare, and the education of our children.  This has been so important, especially during a bad agricultural season,” she said.  “I want to express my deep appreciation and gratitude for the project and what it has done for my family.”

Through its work, NEF seeks to improve the capacity of villagers to meet food needs and increase their income for years to come.  NEF continued to work with communities to strengthen their ability to manage investments and improve the governance of farmers’ organizations (groups of women) to provide ongoing support. 

In the coming months, NEF will continue to work with market garden farmers in the eight villages of 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 Débéré).

Your generous support allows NEF to continue and expand its work with women and communities in need in Mali! Thank you!

Women cultivating shallot in NEF-supported garden.
Women cultivating shallot in NEF-supported garden.
Feb 11, 2014

Woman Entrepreneur Turns Passion Into Profits

Carmen launched her business with your support!
Carmen launched her business with your support!

Until very recently, Carmen, a young Palestinian woman studying computer science, never imagined she could start a full-time business doing henna artwork--something she loves but always considered only a hobby.

“I was scared in the beginning,” she said. “I was just practicing my skills... I never had the motivation to turn it into a business, but the Near East Foundation opens the door for us.”

Carmen is one of almost 50 Palestinian women who started their own business in 2013 with Near East Foundation support, thanks to the generosity of donors like you.

The new businesses have created nearly 100 new jobs!

In total, NEF is providing training to 200 Palestinian women entrepreneurs and supporting them in creating 150 new businesses.

On average, women entrepreneurs provide 75% of the start-up capital and NEF contributes the remaining 25%, in addition to ongoing training and mentoring support.

The program allows Carmen and women entrepreneurs like her to plan for their futures knowing they can provide income for themselves. The new businesses range from small farms and bakery operations to retail shops. 

Carmen’s future aspirations extend to those like her. “I hope NEF continues to include more women so they can benefit from this program as I have benefitted. And I hope NEF keeps following up with us to help improve and expand our microenterprises,” she said enthusiastically.

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

Jan 13, 2014

"A new chapter in my life"

Since our last report, twelve Armenian women who are survivors of domestic violence have received training in business planning and management thanks to your generous support.

Four of the women have already launched their own small businesses!

“This project has helped me start a new chapter in my life. Thanks to my new business, I will be able to provide for myself and for my children’s livelihood by doing my favorite activity,” shared one beneficiary who is now earning an income with her sewing skills.

NEF is economically empowering Armenian women survivors of domestic abuse by helping them gain the vocational and business skills to sustain themselves financially. Women participate in workshops and trainings before developing a business plan. The women choose their business focus themselves based on their respective skills and interests.

Once their business plan is reviewed and approved for financing, the women receive guidance from a business coach who advises them through the start-up phase and helps them strengthen their business network. The coach also organizes visits to similar businesses to allow the women to observe how a viable business operates.

Four more women will soon receive financial support to launch their businesses after receiving additional training.  The businesses range in focus from cosmetology to embroidery and agriculture.

Thanks to your generosity, the women receiving this support can escape the cycle of abuse occurring in their homes and take control of their lives.

A beneficiary who started a manicuring business shared, “I’ve learned the skills on how to organize my business, and I’ve also acquired all the necessary items to start my business. Now I will no longer be dependent on my husband’s income, and I can live separately with my kids without fear of abuse by him. I clearly understand the importance of this award for women like me, so I plan to get only the most important items for my business to save the funds for other women.’’   

The women’s enthusiasm for the project is growing as they see tangible results in their financial situations and begin to gain economic independence. Your donation is helping them to move forward with increasing confidence towards a new life for their families. THANK YOU!

 
   

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