Aug 2, 2021

Learn about NEW small business initiatives supported by Karama

One of the supported woman explaining her business
One of the supported woman explaining her business

Dear Loyal Readers!


Hope you are all doing amazing and staying safe and healthy during (what are here in Palestine) the hot July and August months! We have heard that several of our friends are experiencing difficulties in various parts of the world with extreme weather conditions, know that we pray for your safety and more wisdom and commitment from us all to better care for our planet.


Time to put the spotlight on another activity recently implemented by Karama Organization. Proudly we like to focus on a few women we would love for you to meet and get to know. Karama's team had the honor to meet some amazing, entrepreneurial ladies in the past years and in the last half year we finally came around making some supportive activities for these business women.


Karama strongly believes our women are capable of anything they put their minds and hearts to and we have seen many amazing stories of evidence from this. Such as Ra'eda and Intisar's who joined our rooftop greenhouses project last year and found new motivation through their little green garden. Now they are the engineers of their greenhouse, the leaders of their planting season and the providers of delicious organic produce to their families. If you are not eating organic, well… start today because it is worth the change! And there is the lovely Aireen, who is a young agricultural engineering student at Al- Arroub Agricultural College who has showed very good commitment and care in her greenhouse. So much that Karama now employed her to assist in the development of a seedling nursery. You know, those places where seeds can safely and effectively grow in small plants ready to be planted in the outside world…


But its not just flowers and tomatoes that are happening in Karama these days. What do you think about soap and beauty products? We got you covered! What about some lovely crochet bags and unique accessories following the latest fashion? We got that too! All because Karama connected with some amazing handicraft artists, who are willing and motivated to take their home-business to the next level.

One of the business women shared; "For almost 2 years now I have been working from home making different kinds of soaps and beauty products. I started because I love it and I am interested in this area, but also because I want to do something useful by myself that helps my family and can support my children in their education and medical needs". Karama engaged her in different business sessions and provided her with new supplies, branding and packaging. She continues; "I really felt seen by Karama team. Together we brainstorm ideas and now I am not alone but feel a team of people support my growing my little start-up".


Karama follows a holistic approach when it comes to entrepreneurial activities: we see the business of a women with their place in the market and their value chain to understand which areas of her business can use support. Together we brainstormed about consumers’ wishes, packaging standards, recognizable logos and branding and high-quality inputs. Of course, the project staff looked at marketing channels and ways to promote these items more in Palestine and hopefully abroad.

We plan to continue with our existing business women for at least another six months and there are a few priorities we hope to support these women in. For some it is more professional packaging, others better visibility and e-marketing for her products. We are so glad your support can contribute to these goals!

The women are tirelessly building a better future for their families day by day, and it means to world to them to feel supported! 

Wanna know where these businesses will be going? Keep an eye on our social media for more updates! 

Warm wishes from Palestine. 

Some of the lovely products made by the supported
Some of the lovely products made by the supported
Lovely soaps made by the talented Maha.
Lovely soaps made by the talented Maha.
Jul 10, 2021

Time to reflect and celebrate!

Karama's closing ceremony included women sharing
Karama's closing ceremony included women sharing

Hello all!

Karama recently closed the current cycle of its women empowerment and food security initiative. Over the last four years, 220 women have successfully set up a greenhouse, supported their household food security, and found support in the weekly meetings and regular social events. The last year has been particularly hard on the refugee camps, but still the green havens proved their sustainability and relevance to the women and their families. The greenhouse initiative now enters a new phase where Karama will plan more related and sustainable activities for the project communities. Congrats to all the participants, staff and supporters!

 

I had two of the most successful seasons during COVID 19. I was very happy to stay connected with the engineer through continuous video calls, she guided me through the entire planting seasons. It is true that I did not sell harvest this year, but I planted a variety of crops including peppers, beans and tomatoes, which I shared with my family and neighbors. This the most I have been thankful for the greenhouse it helped me in a difficult time.

34-year old participant from Al-Arroub

 

Karama Organization over the last months continued to support the local response to COVID19 and connects regularly with local health institutes and organizations to address needs and promote adherance to health and safety regulations. One of the ways Karama hoped to make a contribution, was by undertaking a small research among our rooftop greenhouse participants to discuss and analyse how refugee communities have been impacted by the COVID19 crisis. Karama was amazed to see that almost all participants from the 220 greenhouses have continued succesfully planting and harvesting their greenhouses. This means the trainings in the previous years have made women capable to independently take care of their greenhouse!

Production levels (kilos harvested) was also comparable to pre-COVID19. Only, women sold less. Most was distributed for free. This is likely to the harsh economic situation and a sign of solidarity among the women and their communities. In the areas of economy and education, we are greatly concerned by the negative impact of the virus and its implications. Especially students from the UNRWA schools have suffered greatly from the closure of schools and the suspension of activities. For most of them its 1,5 years of education lost. We are afraid this impacts not only their immediate development but also their future changes on employment. Especially since they seem to have suffered more than the students that attend private schools.

 

Karama now puts its energy in a new phase, where the shining women of our community will remain front and central. Food production activities, the bakery and micro- and small businesses are among the activities supported these months. And we will look for new ways to support our communities in the area of education and food security. The greenhouses will continue to grow and flourish, with one Karama engineer remaining available to support anyone. 

Thank you for making this possible. We hope you are encouraged to continue to engage with our cause and we would love to hear from you.

Read the full research here!

Several people were thanked during the event
Several people were thanked during the event
All women happily received their certificate!
All women happily received their certificate!

Links:

May 26, 2021

New Research by Karama Organization - Impact of Corona on Refugee Women

Women in one of the greenhouses
Women in one of the greenhouses

Salaam aleikum dear friends and supporters.

We greet you with peace, with safety. Even if we haven't experienced much peace in the last weeks. Even if we maybe don't feel peacful inside ourselves. It is according to the islamic teaching and our life philosophy that we should great each other, and ourselves, and all energies around us with the words "peace be with you". We don't hold on to feelings of insecurity, or start with fear and anger, we remind eachother of the Source of Peace.

Thanks for reading and thank you for all the different ways people have reached out to us in the last few weeks. It means so much to hear your words of support and we were amazed to see the signs of solidarity in many cities around the world. Don't stop. A ceasefire is not an end to the occupation. A "return to calm" is not an end to the illegal blockade. Journalists leaving does not mean apartheid ended. Please continue to engage in any way that feels right for you.

Karama Organization continues to support the local response to COVID19 and connects regularly with local health institutes and organizations to address needs and promote adherance to health and safety regulations. One of the ways Karama hoped to make a contribution, was by undertaking a small research among our rooftop greenhouse participants to discuss and analyse how refugee communities have been impacted by the COVID19 crisis.

I had two of the most successful [vegetable] seasons during COVID 19. I was very happy to stay connected with the engineer through continuous video calls, she guided me through the entire planting seasons. It is true that I did not sell my harvest this year, but I planted a variety of crops including peppers, beans and tomatoes, which I shared with my family and neighbors. This is the most I have been thankful for the greenhouse, as it helped me in a difficult time.
- 34-year old participant from Al-Arroub Camp

Karama was amazed to see that almost all participants from the 220 greenhouses have continued succesfully planting and harvesting their greenhouses. This means the trainings in the previous years have made women capable to independently take care of their greenhouse. Production levels (kilos harvested) was also comparable to pre-COVID19. Only, women sold less. Most was distributed for free. This is likely to the harsh economic situation and a sign of solidarity among the women and their communities.

In the areas of economy and education, we are greatly concerned by the negative impact of the virus and its implications. Especially students from the UNRWA schools have suffered greatly from the closure of schools and the suspension of activities. For most of them its 1,5 years of education lost. We are afraid this impacts not only their immediate development but also their future changes on employment. Especially since they seem to have suffered more than the students that attend private schools.

Since many years I am an inventive woman and I have worked various jobs to support my family. Due to COVID19 I lost my most recent job, which was a setback for my household. I know how to stretch every shekel that I have though. Soon I will find something else to earn. But it will be much easier if can move freely again. The greenhouse is a helpful way to support my family, we eat from it and I used to bring to Karama to get some extra income.

55-year old participant from Deheishe camp.

Both the women and their husbands/main income provider were employed less, with 93% of the respondents saying their incomce is less stable currently than before the crisis. 

Remarkably however, many women report on the increased support and respect they received from their children and husband. Especially during times of lockdowns (which were many in the last 15 months) all household members spent more time together and helped each other. For example, many women engaged their children in the care for the greenhouses.


Thank you for making this possible. We hope you are encouraged to continue to engage with our cause and we would love to hear from you.

Read the full research below! LINK 

Women showing off their winter harvest
Women showing off their winter harvest

Links:

 
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