We welcome you to our news update
Dear global supporters and friends,
What an incredible time we find ourselves in these days. All people, all communities around the world are affected by a virus, an illness that knows no borders and makes no distinction between race, wealth or status. No country will be able to pass through this time without placing major restrictions on its society and economy. Not everybody will be impacted equal, not every society will carry the same costs – and long-term implications are merely guesses at the moment.
Also in Palestine, people are heavily affected by the health pandemic. By the fear and insecurity that comes with it, by the loss of education, work, and income, by the loss of health and loved ones in a health care system that was already struggling to cope with its patients pre-COVID19. The local authorities have responded very quickly and focused immediately on prevention, knowing that we have only a few hospitals that could take care of infected people. But in Palestine, with prevention comes with a curfew, comes a full-on lock-down on cities and villages, come movement restrictions and restrictions on economic, social, educational activities (all eagerly enforced by the Jewish army and the Palestinian police force). Children at home, workers without work, shops closing and business lost. While the large majority of the people are accepting and very much following such restrictions (which were placed on us from Day 1, when the first case of Corona among hotel staff in Bethlehem was revealed), it is also an interesting reminder of how easily Palestinian life is closed down and slowed down (we are used to a quiet a lot here…).
While it is not our intention to only talk about Corona virus related news in our message to you, it is too important not to mention (and several people reached out to us to check in with us – so hopefully this background info satisfies any interest). Naturally, our project activities have slowed down, with no meetings or activities. Agricultural engineers and social workers are following up with the over 190 greenhouse participants by phone. Alhamdulillah many of the women are largely self-sufficient when it comes to their greenhouses so we are seeing many of them who are actively taking care of the gardens. Plans for setting up new greenhouses are postponed. Plans for entrepreneurship development with the women are postponed. Construction is delayed. Karama is focusing some of its attention now on emergency support to the most vulnerable households, to support them with basic food items; rice, oil, beans, chicken as well as cleaning products, soap and disinfectants. Our major donor the European Union is so flexible to support some of this assistance, but any support is welcome and will enable us to reach more. All our emergency efforts are undertaken in connection with the local health authorities (and will also follow all of their guidelines to protect the safety of our staff and participants).
During these difficult days, what better than to reflect on the amazing results we have reached as a community in the last three project years?! With that aim, we are sharing with you our newly released video, showing one of our participants from Al-Arroub refugee camp (close to Hebron city). She talks passionately about the impact the greenhouse has made on her life in the last three years (with English subtitles!). Thanks to Ne'ma and the very dedicated project staff for your hard work and commitment and to our donor the European Union for standing with us!
The video is also posted on our Facebook (and youtube account) and it would be great if you take a few seconds to like or share with some friends!
Link on youtube to watch and share:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLsl2zjW5kI
Facebook link, video is pinned at top: https://www.facebook.com/karama48
We hope you are all staying safe, healthy and in close connection with loved ones. Don't forget to reach out to one another and keep in touch!
All kinds of vegetables growing in the gardens
Watch and share our new project video!