Al-Arabia, Sky News, Reuters, PNN, Al-Quds, Al-Hurra, Electronic Intifada.. All these news agencies have a common theme; they covered Karama's Rooftop Micro Farms in the past months! They were an important link in spreading the information globally about the resilience of the Palestinian refugees that is displayed in this project. Because of these outlets, people in more than 80 countries in the world have heard about this project in Deheishe and became a witness of the creativity and strength of the Palestinian community. Both locally and global Karama has been promoting this idea of self-support through reclaiming was has always been an important part of the Palestinian society: agriculture.
Curious why Karama believes so strongly in this project? Take a look at the pictures, and the harvest will speak for itself! In the last months tens of children watched tomato plants grow more than a meter in the air, and zucchinis getting bigger and bigger till the plant could not carry them anymore. The summer harvest has been more than we imagined and gave and still gives the families a great and valuable addition to their diets. In the long term, it is our aim that this will add to healthier kids and families less dependent on food aid or support from outside.
The importance of this project for the women of the camp cannot be better shown than by the words from a participant. Asmahan Ramadan, herself born in Deheishe Camp, is part of a family that came from Zakaria, near Jerusalem but fled due to the violence in 1948. Her family worked on their own agricultural land and this new experience of rooftop gardening has made her feel more connected to her family's past. She explains: "It gives me a connection to the land. My family was farmers and I’ve come back to my roots. It gives me the feeling like I’m sitting in a big field. This is my big field.” Besides her family, she also feels she herself benefits from the project. “I feel more empowered,” says Asmahan. “I grow something and I eat from my work. I’m contributing to my family and that’s a good feeling.”
Right now, women are collecting their harvest and preparing for the next season. Seeds from the first harvest can be used to plant new crops. Also when the weather will change in the coming months, the gardens will be protected since the covering will keep the wind out and the warmth inside. In this way, the families will hopefully benefit from two harvests each year.
Although more funds have been collected through all the attention in the past month, we still want to stress the importance of all our donors for our work. It is very valuable for our organization, to notice that the work is also being supported by individual donors from all over the world! Sharing our experience and work in Deheishe with individuals has always been crucial to Karama and we want to continue with this. So again we want to invite you to read more about our work on our website or contact us by email. We are looking forward to hear from you or meet you once in Deheishe, and we are always grateful for your support.
Harvest Summer 2012