Amira in Rafah at her farm
I am proud to report that Gardens, Goats, and More completed a thoughtful proposal process with our four Community Based Org partners and Rebuilding Alliance distributed grants to all four in late July. Here are the results for two of the partners, and I look forward to sharing more about the others soon.
Al Basma Club for the Disabled (ABCD) in north Gaza, introduced six more families to the program. In keeping with ABCD's mission, they prioritized the poorest families who have members with disabilities.
Executive Director, Mr. Eid Shaqura, met with all six and asked them about their living situations. This thoughtful process fleshed out not just their needs but their individual stories in a way that gave them dignity and respect.
- Father of two, Muhammad, is deaf and married to a deaf woman. Herb and vegetable plants combined with his gardening experience help him feed his family.
- Amputee, Mahmud, lives in Jabalya Refugee Camp. Instead of receiving chickens as originally planned, he purchased rabbits because rabbit meat brings a higher price in the market, and he can double production every two months.
- Wissam, an experienced fisherman with five children, was made disabled by polio. The fishing nets and ropes he received allow him to continue making a living.
- Ra'id was already making some income from a small cart selling coffee and tea. He expanded his offerings with locally-produced fresh fruit and vegetables and with his new juice machine, he is also selling fresh-squeezed juice. Additionally, his new tent, plastic chairs, cups, and a stovetop makes him the go-to vendor in the neighborhood.
- Osama is a married father of two children with experience in taking care of animals. He is a double-leg amputee who uses a wheelchair. He and his wife received a 4-month-old cow so they can eventually have a business selling milk and butter.
- A'thar lives with her brother (who has a hearing disability), her brother's child, and two sisters. She received a goat and the supplies to care for it. She has experience taking care of goats because her father also raised them.
Meanwhile, the Women Programs Center Rafah (WPCR), in south Gaza, moved forward with another six families as well. The four families in their pilot first phase are doing well and are recovering from some damage incurred to their animals and garden during the bombings in May. One beneficiary, Aqela, lost two chickens and some plants because of toxic gas from bombings nearby. Another woman, Amira, lost a baby goat and part of her garden as well. However, Executive Director of WPC-R, Najah Ayash, assured that these damages are nothing they can't come back from.
In fact, Mrs. Ayash says Amira is doing an excellent job. Amira, pictured above, is making good profit from her chickens and eggs. Amira attended an agricultural conference in Cairo so she can apply what she learned to her garden. She is growing watermelon, eggplant, corn, parsley, tomatoes and more in her garden and her goat gave birth to two kids.
During the bombings, these gardens became an invaluable resource to families sheltering at home. Rafah Coordinator, Kareem, said: "During the war on Gaza, many people were not able to get outside their homes because of the bombing, and they were facing hard times finding a way to buy food. Luckily, their home gardens were able to provide them with some vegetables to use in cooking, like okra, pepper, tomatoes and potatoes, which were enough to make a meal during these hard circumstances."
Thank you so much for your continued support. Because of you, families can access a sustainable, healthy source of food and even develop a small business to provide for their children.
Amira's garden is in the Oriba neighborhood, Rafah
Planting an olive tree
A new sheep!
Delivering sheep, lemon trees, and a fig tree too!
Wissam setting up his new fishing nets
A'thar and her new goats
Mahmud & his rabbit barn in Jabalya Refugee Camp