Salaam aleikum dear friends from all over the world,
How are you doing? Hope you and your loved ones are happy and healthy.
It has been such an honor to connect with you through GlobalGiving. A few short years back, we would have never thought we could write this message to you, but here we are. Connected with more people than we ever thought. And supporting our communities in ways we never dreamed of.
If you know the Karama family, you know we have always been thinking a lot about money. Seriously though, we always have a hate/love relationship; using it as a tool to support our communities and at the same time disliking the money-based society. We care about the why's and how's of money too. We care about the values of the organizations that support of and see each individual that takes the effort to support our work. But we also care about money as a way to instill a sense of responsibility, generosity and dignity in the people that we work alongside. Do not remain reliant on the "hand-out" mentality, but be active to contribute your own fair share.
Karama has always been interested in finding ways to support our work without relying on constant donations. From the very start of our organization we looked for ways to sell handcrafts, Palestinian products or be of service to others in order to create income streams for Karama and do more good in Palestine. This vision was accelerated in the last two years when we learned and thought together with some amazingly dedicated women from Deheishe camp to grow our vision of a local bakery and production center.
Today, we are so excited that this community bakery and kitchen is operating in Deheishe camp and producing each day delicious meals, pastries and sweets. We are grateful for all the early supporters, vistors and donors who loved this idea and contributed to it in many different ways. It is very fullfilling for the women to connect each day with local customers who love their food.
Today we feel it is the right time to close this GlobalGiving donation page, and rely on our own income streams to keep this social business going. Donations are better placed in other projects and initiatives (all our other project pages remain open!!). So far we love social entrepreneurship as a tool for community development. It is amazingly hard work, requires lots of learning and team work, but is also paying of, empowering women and communities and making them able to support themselves.
Karama Organization continues all our other work in Palestine, supporting women and children in many ways. And you are very welcome to continue to contribute to our work. The bakery and kitchen in Deheishe however, will continue without the donations from GG. We will of course keep you updated on any developents through our social media and regular reports.
Hit reply if you have any questions!
If you are a monthly donor to this project you are welcome to select another project page for your donation!
See our facebook pages linked below for more updates!
Greetings from occupied Palestine.
This message was supposed to be different. In our drafts, a wonderful Eid message was scheduled to go out on the 13th of May to mark the Eid lFitr holiday and show the progress of the women in the local bakery. But then the repression of Palestinians in Jerusalem increased, then forced displacements in Sheikh Jarrah came to a boiling point, then the violent attacks on worshippers in the Al Aqsa mosque. The bombardments started, and hundreds of innocent lives were lost... pain and damage inflicted on whole families, neighbourhoods and cities.
So our scheduled email was deleted. Words of "Eid Mubarak" or Happy Eid were out of place. But what else to say, how to put into words the amount of loss, desperation, anger or determination we experienced? How to express our gratitude for the solidarity in a few lines? How to formulate to you our hopes for an end to violence, occupation and apartheid, and dreams of a generation who can grow up, learn from past mistakes and live in freedom??
After the ceasefire is holding in Gaza and the bombing has stopped, we reach out to you again. We thank you for seeing us and connecting with Karama and Palestinians in so many different ways. We want you to know that now more than ever we need you to talk about Palestine. To listen to and look at Palestinians. To share and discuss what you've seen. We have seen articles stating "outsiders should just stay out of this "conflict" and keep their opinion to themselves, it isn’t helpful". But that totally overlooks the enabling factor government, businesses and consumers globally have to these different forms of apartheid, occupation and oppression. Everybody has a role to play to work towards social justice everywhere and we are so grateful for all the people doing their bit.
Karama is honored and happy to tell you Karama's bakery is running well; the Eid biscuits were another hit this year. Many orders were produced in the last weeks of different breads and dishes. Did you know we now have the tools to cook full meals such as waraq dawali, the delicious stuffed vine leaves. Yes even Palestinian families get lazy sometimes and order their traditional dishes as take out! :) Our marketing strategy has improved with your help! New flyers have been created as well as boxes and bags with our logo.
We will continue to update you on our activities to address the needs in our project communities, with the greenhouses, local entrepreneurial activities and emergency distributions. Connect to us on our website and Facebook if you haven't already and let's stay in touch.
Thank you again for being part of this initiative and inshallah you will visit us as soon as the situation allows!
Dear global friends,
How have you been? How have you been feeling about the change of seasons, the last season before we exit this year 2020? Let me tell you, here in Palestine it is still nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. Many ups and downs in the past few months. But something we keep holding on to; hope. Hope that our women will know better days, that our children will know better days, that our hard-working small business and entrepreneurs will know better days. That the hardships and the many lessons this time brings will pay off for a better tomorrow. A greener, a freer, and more respectful tomorrow for all our women and children.
And Karama Organization has been taking many practical steps towards this in the last month. Initially, a lot of our energy was put into emergency distributions of food, non-food items, and cash (with over 3000 households reached). Then we worked on community rebuilding and resilience, through our Cash-for-Work program that so far has supported more than 55 households. But now, the staff has been working hard to restart the bakery activities and the production unit in Deheishe camp. These social business activities will employ many women from the camp, provide them with a fair income, and offer healthy, delicious (and often organic) food products in our regions. So we all are very excited to keep these social enterprises moving, even during the ongoing COVID19 crisis in Palestine and globally.
We have to adapt though. Due to Coronavirus, schools and organizations are not always open, sometimes businesses still close – making the marketing of our products much harder. The same for accessing our raw materials, limited mobility makes this difficult at times. The women we employ all need to receive protective materials, and ventilation and physical distance possibilities need to be up-to-date in our working and selling areas. But where there’s a will, there’s a way!
The team has been active with brand development, testing equipment, training new employees, piloting (and tasting) products and creating marketing/visibility items. Have a look at these short clips of the women in action and tell us what you think!
Lastly, we couldn’t be more proud to see our social business initiative been recommended for a global award: the Global Enterp Awards to support social businesses working towards the Social Development Goals! We will let you know what happens next, but we are so proud and excited to be short-listed.
Thank you for supporting this initiative in Palestine!
You can check out the promotional clip here, and don’t forget to reply to us!
Dear supporters of Karama, dear lovers of Palestinian food :)
We from Karama send you warm wishes and hope you and your loved ones are well during these days of Ramadan, during these days of late spring, during these days of social/physical distancing and isolation.
Muslim communities from all around the world are counting down to the Eid l Fitr, watching the waning moon until we are left with nothing but a slimmer of moonlight. During these last days of Ramadan, people continue to remain steadfast in their fasting, praying and reading of Quran. But also many miss the evenings spent at the local mosque or community center, which normally is an important part of these last days of the holy month.
While many in the Western world associate Eid l Fitr with sugary sweets and extravagant eating - this is not necessarily the case for many people in Palestine. But one thing that is a common tradition is the making of different types of (date-filled) biscuits with semolina flour. While previous years the women from Karama used to prepare kilo upon kilo of this festive biscuit, it is still unsure if we will be able to do so this year. It is unclear if festivities are allowed to continue this year, and it is also more difficult to gather all the supplies needed for the bakery.
At time of writing, the bakery has been closed for several months, first for renovations and then due to the Coronavirus restrictions. Karama Organization remains committed however to open as soon as the situation allows and re-start this economic activity for the women to earn an income in a dignified manner. With the renovated kitchen area, the foundation is there for an even better and tastier production process - and the women are eager to get back to work.
In the mean time, Karama has been very active in society to distribute emergency packages including food and health supplies to the most vulnerable households. With the support of many friends and donors, over 800 food packages have been delivered and 600-kilo chicken, as well as 600 bags of sanitizing products. If you want to support these emergency activities we encourage you to have a look at our new project page here: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/solidarity-with-palestinians-fight-against-covid19/
Thanks for reading!
Dear friends from Karama’s Bakery,
The past few months have been a whirlwind of deliveries and orders; weddings, graduation parties, children’s festivities, birthday celebrations and community events - many have been served with the delicious produce from the Karama Bakery. The Bakery’s name got established in the direct community and people start to know our place… this is a great start!
The group of committed women are working together as a team and sharing in the workload to get the best breads, pizzas and sweets ready. They all have received training and instruction, and a more or less fixed menu is established by now. Which doesn’t mean we are not open for innovation and trying new recipes – the women do! The Bakery’s staff gets paid according to the hours they work each week in the bakery and they started to experience the positive feelings of independence and empowerment when they have control over their time, income and spending. One lady who recently joined the bakery’s team enclosed that she was delighted with her first salary and eagerly used it to buy gifts for her sisters and husband to mark a special occasion.
Did you notice that Karama is also promoting this bakery on social media?!
The management team is eager to take more steps however to reach a more sustainable production level for the Bakery and improve our business management. This is where your input is so much needed and welcome.
First Action Point: One young lady will be trained in more management skills, so she can be more pro-active in the daily management of the bakery; taking responsibility for preparing orders, tracking sales and purchases and support the marketing of the bakery.
Second Action Point: More funds will be devoted to branding and marketing, with developing an official logo and label for the bakery being a first step. This will be a great addition to the deliveries, who will then be able to be marked with the official Karama name and logo and contact details. This added visibility will lead to more orders inshallah and more economic activities for the women.
We hope you will join us in these efforts and continue to support the women from Karama’s Bakery! A big thank you for your solidarity.
Warm wishes from the whole Karama team.
Keep an eye on our facebook page for more pictures and updates!
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