Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade

by Sunbula
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
Empower Artisans in Palestine through Fair Trade
At Idna Ladies' Association, our partner artisans
At Idna Ladies' Association, our partner artisans

It's time to tell you what the first quarter of 2022 has been like for Sunbula and our artisans.  First months of the year are normally our slow time, having just finished the holiday season rush.  But not this year; we've been busy and already have things to celebrate.

We have increased the income of our artisans

When we closed the books for 2021, we were delighted to see that the income earned by our artisans through our fair trade shop in Jerusalem and e-commerce grew by 23% over the previous year.  What's more, we've also managed to increase the artisans' income in the first quarter of this year by more than double of the same period last year! 

During the hardest period of the pandemic when Sunbula worked to raise emergency aid the artisans would tell us, 'donations are great, but what we really want is orders to sustain ourselves'.  So we are very happy to be able to provide them with more work even if our business is still much lower than the pre-pandemic level.

This upward trend is happening because the pandemic restrictions have been eased locally and internationally.  Tourists are returning to Jerusalem and visiting our shop for the first time in two years.  We are also grateful to our retail partners from around the world who are placing orders and promoting Palestinian crafts in their local community.  

We have launched new olive oil soaps 

In January, we unveiled the Beita Baladi Olive Oil Soaps, which had been in the making during the final months of 2021.  Handmade by women farmers and beekeepers at Beita Women's Deveopment Society, these exquisite soaps are made only from the natural harvests of their village, using the traditional soap-making methods.

We partnered with Rand Dabbour, a talented young graphic designer, to create an attractive packging and assisted the women with quality control.  The soaps have become popular sellers at our shop and online, generating additional income for the women.  

Sunbula regularly helps our artisans improve their products through our product development work.  We look forward to showcasing more in our future reports!

Your donation has helped us sustain our shop operation and provide product development support, making a direct impact on the lives of hundreds of artisans we work with.  Thank you so much!

Entrance to our fair trade shop in Jerusalem
Entrance to our fair trade shop in Jerusalem
Our shop is the only market to many artisans
Our shop is the only market to many artisans
Woman beekeeper of Beita village
Woman beekeeper of Beita village
Baladi Beita Olive Oil Soaps come in four types
Baladi Beita Olive Oil Soaps come in four types
Successful products make a better source of income
Successful products make a better source of income
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Surif Women's Cooperative, one of Sunbula partners
Surif Women's Cooperative, one of Sunbula partners

We are very excited to send you our first report, which falls into the time to reflect what 2021 has been like for Sunbula and our artisans.  It was another challenging year under the pandemic, but thanks to your generous support we were able to celebrate these milestones. 

1.  We provided more emergency aid to our artisans

Continuing our emergency fundraising that started in 2020, we raised $14,000 this year to provide direct aid to the most vulnerable artisan groups.  The emergency funds went towards helping them to pay wages, buy craft materials, and sustain their operations.

2.  We restarted our training program for artisans 

In August, after a long delay caused by the pandemic, we restarted the sewing training for the women at Abu Nuwar Bedouin Charitable Society, a silk-screen printing project near Jerusalem.  We dispatched a sewing instructor on a three-month program so they can start making bags and kitchen linens to print designs on.  Look out for their new collection in the spring of 2022!

3.  We launched a new product line

This July, we launched the 'Baladi Beita’ collection for Beita Women Development Society, which supports women farmers in the northern West Bank.  Working with a young local graphic designer, we helped rebrand their food products and olive oil soaps.  Find them at our fair trade shop in Jerusalem and soon at our online shop.

4. We hosted our first student internship

Fashion design students from Birzeit University joined us in August, where they designed craft items for the Women’s Program Center in Amari refugee camp, and learned traditional craft making directly from the artisans.  This intergenerational collaboration brought about an exciting fusion of fresh ideas. Look out for the end results at our shops in 2022!

5. We launched our new brand and website

We introduced our new brand in August, and updated our look to reflect our evolution over the last few decades.  Visit our fully redesigned website to read about our history, how we work, our artisans and the traditional crafts, and check out our expanded online shop!

6. Our Annual Holiday Bazaar was back

In November, we organized the Annual Holiday Bazaar in Jerusalem after skipping a year from the pandemic.  It was a festive gathering of our artisans from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, helped by many volunteers, co-organizers, and community members.  

7. The last but not the least, we became part of GlobalGiving!

In September, we successfully completed the Accelerator program and officially joined GlobalGiving because your support made it possible.  Digital fundraising platforms are not easily available for local nonprofits in Palestine, so we are truly grateful to connect with you and to build a community of supporters around the world.

From all of us at Sunbula, we send you our heartfelt gratitude and very best wishes in 2022!

Sewing training for Bedouin women in Abu Nuwar
Sewing training for Bedouin women in Abu Nuwar
New products by Beita Women Development Society
New products by Beita Women Development Society
Student internship at Amari Women's Program Center
Student internship at Amari Women's Program Center
Sunbula's new brand, launched in August 2021
Sunbula's new brand, launched in August 2021
Artisan at the Sunbula Annual Holiday Bazaar
Artisan at the Sunbula Annual Holiday Bazaar
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Organization Information

Sunbula

Location: East Jerusalem, via Israel - Palestine
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @sunbulaFT
Project Leader:
Shirabe Yamada
East Jerusalem, Palestine
$10,434 raised of $15,000 goal
 
82 donations
$4,566 to go
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