Feb 25, 2019

Update Rooftop Greenhouses for Palestinian Refugee Women

Our spirits rise, our roofs are full.
Our spirits rise, our roofs are full.

Welcome to the February update from chilly Deheishe Camp! We hope you and your loved ones are in great health and wellbeing. Karama is eager to let you know more about how our rooftop greenhouses are doing. As you know, Karama has been expanding their initial few greenhouses to now over 110 greenhouses in FOUR refugee camps located on the West Bank – Palestine. These green places are gardens of hope, health, and productivity for the women who can easily become trapped in cycles of hopelessness and depression in the bleak economic and political environment.

Each year we are trying to include more and more women in the project, contributing to food security for refugee families as well as empowerment and (emotional) health for the female owners of these fields. Even before the women are involved in the construction of their greenhouse on their own roof, they will have learned the basics of gardening and know the skills of planting and harvesting. After the first season, the women will have a good understanding of dealing with their greenhouse and can also identify some diseases that might appear in the vegetables they keep. Different styles of workshops are organized; alternating field visits, hands-on activities, lectures and discussion groups.

Continuing, in-depth sessions are organized, still in small groups up to 15 women to make sure all can actively participate. These will focus on protocols of fertilizing their soil and plants, cooling and heating the greenhouse, as well as natural or herbal remedies for common diseases. Unfortunately, greenhouse production is not without diseases, so we have to teach the women how to quickly identify any threat and treat this swiftly in the most natural way. Luckily our engineers know many tips and tricks to keep the plants healthy and strong, many of these are do-it-yourself or herbal home remedies that the women can access relatively cheaply around the house.

Some of the very active participants even dig deeper for more information to know how to optimize their production through different techniques of pruning (taking off additional leaves/branches from each plant) or adding nutritional value through home remedies. In this way, many women could greatly increase the quality of their product as well as their total production – even when already in the harvest season! This is an amazing achievement that makes the women very proud – as well as the Karama staff of course. In the coming months, this experience will be shared with all participants!

In this past month, the project staff also worked hard to organize social activities for the women; getting women from the different refugee camps familiar with each other. The women from Aida camp and Azza camp (both in Bethlehem region) as well as from Arroub camp in Hebron region had an engaging morning in Karama center in Deheishe camp. The delicious hospitality provided by Karama’s bakery did not go unnoticed!

Hope you enjoy this insight in the work of the Palestinian women you are so meaningfully supporting through Global Giving! Without question, your support is very important for this project, for the Karama staff and for the women we are lucky to have participating in this initiative.

Thank you for contributing to hope and health for women in Palestine!

Warm wishes from the whole Karama team.

 

PS: We can’t show you anything yet - but know that the project team also worked very hard on new promotional material for the project and Karama, including a documentary of the progress in the greenhouse project! Stay tuned for the release! :D 

Women learn together - hands-on!
Women learn together - hands-on!
Participants do all the hard work by themselves
Participants do all the hard work by themselves
Greenhouses can benefit from many home remedies
Greenhouses can benefit from many home remedies

Links:

Nov 13, 2018

Come Taste at Karama's Bakery!

Tasty Production in Karama
Tasty Production in Karama

Welcome back to a new update from Karama Organization. After months of preparations, procurement and training; Karama is proud to continue with another initiative for economic empowerment in the refugee camp. Inspired by and led by the female participants of the Rooftop Greenhouses project, a new space has been renovated and equipped to become a bakery and a community kitchen. A community kitchen for pride and health! 

This idea has been long kept by the community for many reasons; there is a great need for more sustainable job creation and economic development in the camp, as well as a growing concern for the diet of our children and families. That is why our bakery and community kitchen will focus on locally-grown, healthy products, that do not contain added sugars or artificial ingredients. Instead, we will deliver deliciously stuffed loaves of bread, pizzas, and sweet treats to our school canteens, workers and visitors. And serve anybody passing by our shop with a hungry belly! :) 

The Karama bakery is located inside Deheishe camp, on a short distance from the Karama center, the camp schools, and the main road. We aim to employ women who are in a difficult economic position but who are eager to support themselves. The selected ladies quickly became skilled workers through their training and high commitment. Their eager hands now made tasty garlic bread, zaatar-filled buns, pizzas and much more.

This initiative is not only going to support the Deheishe community, but we soon hope to expand to other refugee camps that are part of the Rooftop Greenhouses project. This is especially crucial with the ongoing UNRWA budget cuts; lots of uncertainty among the women about what will happen to some of the most crucial services. Will medication be available? What will happen to the maintenance of streets, sewage systems, and electricity? Are our children going to receive the attention they need in school or will staff cuts continue? Even though the UNRWA is not a perfect organization they are first and foremost a corner-stone in the recognition of Palestinian refugees, our right of return and our suffering during the 1948-war and after. We all know how crucial recognition is in the face of trauma and injustice - and that this should be the basis of peace, not ignorance!

Thank you for your support and love. We hope you enjoy this news update and feel free to share with your friends and families.

PS: Did you notice our new project website is online? Check it out here!   (and we would love to hear your feedback - email us back at volunteers@karama.org) 

PS2: Also check our Facebook page for more updates on our youth activities and women's work! 

New participants of the rooftop greenhouse project
New participants of the rooftop greenhouse project
Soon available :) Come and try!
Soon available :) Come and try!

Links:

Nov 12, 2018

Karama's Community Kitchen for Health and Pride!

Freshly baked breads - who wants a taste?!
Freshly baked breads - who wants a taste?!

Welcome back to a new update from Karama Organization. After months of preparations, procurement and training; Karama is proud to continue with another initiative in the refugee camp. Inspired by and led by our female participants, a new space has been renovated and equipped to become a bakery and a community kitchen. A community kitchen for pride and health! 

This idea has been long kept by the community for many reasons; there is a great need for more sustainable job creation and economic development in the camp, as well as a growing concern for the diet of our children and families. That is why our bakery and community kitchen will focus on locally-grown, healthy products, that do not contain added sugars or artificial ingredients. Instead, we will deliver deliciously stuffed loaves of bread, pizzas, and sweets to our school canteens, workers and visitors. 

The Karama bakery is located inside Deheishe camp, on a short distance from the Karama center, the camp schools, and the main road. We aim to employ women who are in a difficult economic position but who are eager to support themselves. These ladies quickly became skilled workers through their training and high commitment. Their eager hands now made tasty garlic bread, zatar-filled breads, pizzas and much more.

This initiative is not only going to support the Deheishe community, but we soon hope to expand to other refugee camps that are part of the Rooftop Greenhouses project. This is especially crucial with the ongoing UNRWA budget cuts; lots of uncertainty among the women about what will happen to some of the most crucial services. Will medication be available? What will happen to the maintenance of streets, sewage systems, and electricity? Are our children going to receive the attention they need in school or will staff cuts continue? Even though the UNRWA is not a perfect organization they are first and foremost a corner-stone in the recognition of Palestinian refugees, our right of return and our suffering during the 1948-war and after. We all know how crucial recognition is in the face of trauma and injustice - and that this should be the basis of peace, not ignorance! 

Thank you for your support and love. We hope you enjoy this news update and feel free to share with your friends and families.

PS: Did you notice our new project website is online? Check it out here!   (and we would love to hear your feedback - email us back at volunteers@karama.org) 

PS2: Also check our Facebook page for more updates on our youth activities and women's work! 

All participants successfully  completed training!
All participants successfully completed training!
Stuffed bread with zaatar and herbs.
Stuffed bread with zaatar and herbs.
Soon available :)
Soon available :)

Links:

 
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