Poster taggade ‘lindak’

The Resilience Project -Del2 Jubbet adh Dhib

The small village of Jubbet adh Dhib lies vulnerably in Area C in the midst of three Israeli
settlements in the hills outside of Bethlehem. The idea of opening a beauty salon came from
discussions between the Protection Group and volunteers. The need was identified for opening such a
salon for the women in the village. The women were only able to get their hair, makeup,
and nails done whenever there was a major event (such as a wedding) or other occasion happening in the
village. Previously, the nearest beauty salon was six kilometers away from the village so Jubbet
adh Dhib women had to travel and spend money on transportation in order to reach those services.
Therefore, the community recognized that there is always strong demand for such services to be provided
in the village. This will allow female members of the village easier, more convenient, and cheaper
access to those services as well as saving on transportation costs.
The beauty salon was recently opened, in October 2016. It began with a 9900 ILS grant from
EJ-YMCA-WTP and within the first eight weeks, the two women beneficiaries, Doua and Samah,
have already provided services for approximately 2000ILS. The beauty salon has been receiving
customers from Jubbet adh Dhib as well as from the nearby villages such as Za‘tara and Beit
Ta’mir.
Doua (20) has just begun studying English at the nearby university where she is
obligated daily to submit to a search and show her papers at a checkpoint on her way. Her
household consists of eight individuals. Doua is using the income she generates from the salon to
assist her family financially and to pay for her university’s tuition fees.
Samah (19) is an aspiring, certified beautician. She is currently in 11th grade. She
has been given the opportunity to attend styling workshops and has acquired a cosmetology
certification. Her household consists of ten individuals. Samah is also using the income she
generates from the salon to assist her family financially and to save up for other beauty and
cosmetology courses. She proudly explained, ”When we have weddings or parties, all the women in
the village want to come here to get their hair or makeup or nails done. They have even come from
other villages.”


Doua (left) and Samah (right) at the beauty salon
Both Ilham and Yusra were volunteers with the village’s Protection Group who participated
in identifying not having a beauty salon as a market niche. Both young women have been very
active and feeling much more confident and powerful after running a project on their own. They
also feel proud of being able to work at an exciting place, benefit the women of their village, and
help their families at a young age. When the two young women were asked what impact these
community interventions have had on them, Samah voiced her happiness at the opening of the salon
and her hopes for the continued expansion of the project and further training. ”It helps our
ambition.” Doua said that ”This resilience project teaches us to be dependent on ourselves.” With
their hope for expansion, they also aspire to be able to hire other women to work with them at the
salon in the future.
Bright, hardworking women such as these two, Ilham, and Yusra are the future of Palestine.
Protection Groups and members of both villages are very proud of their accomplishments: the start
of creating income generating activities for women. These outreach micro-projects under the
Resilent Project help rural Palestinians reach their ambitions and improve their communities’
livelihoods. Thanks to the efforts of EJ-YMCA, these communities are continually being
strengthened by ultimately being taught how to be creative and inclusive in responding to
vulnerabilities and and anticipated risks, how to be organized, and how to manage their own projects by
themselves.

The Resilience Project -Del1: Al Jab’a

En anonym amerikansk filantrop blev nyligen interesserad i WTP-YMCA’s verksamhet! Hon gav en insats och sen ville hon få besked om hur det hade använts. Efter jag besökte de två samhällen där summan hade använts, blev jag ombedd att skriva upp följande text. Om filantropen känner sig nöjd med innehållet, kommer hon att ge ännu mer bidrag.

EJ-YMCA-WTP has been among the aid organizations contributing to different community
projects for nearly three years. Through the Resilience Project, EJ-YMCA-WTP follows the
PVCA (Participatory Vulnerability Capacity Assessment) method with marginalized communities.
This method is developed to help community groups to identify vulnerabilities and risks in the
community area as well as their strengths and capacities. Accordingly, action plans are then
developed by each community to combat numerous risks. In an effort to make these projects
sustainable and to avoid lasting dependence on NGOs, a number of local residents volunteer to
undergo training where they learn how to take the necessary steps to advocate for themselves when
EJ-YMCA-WTP discontinues their support when that becomes necessary.

Many women living in Area C towns and villages are unable to generate any kind of
substantial income. A number of community interventions target just this demographic. In the
villages of Al Jab’a and Jubbet adh Dhib, community members identified not having any income
generating activities for women as risks in their communities. Women in Palestinian rural villages
do not always get the chance to start their own careers or businesses. They usually end up being
housewives or they might work with family (in this case, women are not generally paid for their
efforts). The Protection Groups and a number of local residents from both villages have volunteered
to undergo several trainings: business and project management, food processing, agriculture, human
and civil rights, and livestock management. By providing those trainings, the YMCA-WTP builds
up communities’ access to information needed to make decisions regarding their livelihoods and
potential risks. In each village, when developing the community action plan, the Protection Group
and local residents discussed the best ways to create income generating opportunities for women
that would also be beneficial to other members of the village. After the Protection Group and
volunteers agreed on a desired project and beneficiaries, an announcement was made in the village
to get the approval of all members of the community regarding the project to-be-implemented and
the beneficiaries chosen. Beneficiaries are chosen by the village’s Protection Group by assessing
which women are the most in need. Since there were no complaints made from community
members regarding the projects, in Al Jab’a village, it was decided to start a kitchen appliances
store with Ilham Altous (48) and Yusra Altous (55) to manage the project; and in Jubbet adh Dhib, it
was decided to start a beauty salon with Doua Alwahsh (20) and Samah Khamees (22) to manage
the project.

 


Al Jab’a, is a marginalized village located in Area C in the Bethlehem governorate. It has
been victim to many aggressions by nearby Israeli settlers. The idea of opening a kitchen appliances
store came from discussions between the Protection Group and volunteers. A need was identified
for having such store in the village. Previously, whenever the residents desired to purchase
kitchen appliances, they had to travel and spend money on transportation to other villages or to the
city. As part of the Palestinian culture, each household is in need of those appliances. Kitchen
appliances are also exchanged between Palestinians as wedding, housewarming, graduation, etc
gifts. Therefore, Al Jab’a community recognized that there is always a high demand for such
products to be sold in the village. This will allow all members of the village easier, more
convenient, and cheaper access to those products as transportation costs are saved.
The kitchen appliances store in Al Jab’a has been recently opened, in October 2016. It
began with a 9927 ILS grant from EJ-YMCA-WTP and within the first eight weeks, the two
women, Ilham and Yusra, have already sold items for approximately 7000ILS. The store has been
receiving customers from Al Jab’a as well as customers from the nearby village, Surif.
The beneficiary, Ilham Altous (48), has a household that consists of eight people. Her
husband is unemployed most of the time. He also has not been allowed travel and or acquire work permits to Israel where a lot of Palestinian men in that area find job opportunities. Ilham’s elder daughter is studying at university and her son recently graduated from high school with very impressive grades.
Ilham’s son aspired to study electrical engineering at university. However, the family were not able
to afford university tuition for two. After opening the store, managing it, and working there for two
months, Ilham was able to generate income for her household’s wellbeing. Moreover, she was able
to save some money to register her son to start a six month electrical engineering course.
Regarding the other beneficiary, Yusra Altous (55), her household consists of 11 individuals,
Yusra has ten daughters. Yusra had been consistently beaten by her husband who eventually decided to
marry a second wife. Yusra’s husband does not provide for Yusra or her daughters financially. He
left her to take care of the situation on her own. Through her involvement with the Resilience
Project and her work at the store, Yusra is able to generate income for her family. Moreover, Yusra
feels empowered to represent the women in Al Jab’a and be a part of the Village Council’s work for
the community. She decided to nominate herself for the upcoming elections.
Both Ilham and Yusra were volunteers with the village’s Protection Group who participated
in identifying not having a kitchen appliances store as a market niche. Both women have been very
active and feeling much more confident and powerful after running a project on their own. For their
next steps, from part of the profit made in those two months, they are saving money to purchase
more appliances and to rent a larger space for the store. Both Ilham and Yusra aspire that after the
initial grant from YMCA-WTP, they will be able to generate a sustainable income without further
assistance.

Al-Rawa’in Success Story

Christian Aid är en av The Women’s Training Program-EJYMCA främsta bidragsgivare. Det är en Brittisk organisation som kämpar för att exponera fattigdom och utmana och förändra strukturer och system som gynnar de rika och mäktiga över de fattiga och marginaliserade i över sextio länder. Christian Aids arbete bygger på kristen tro, inspirerat av hopp, och verkar för att förändra en orättvis värld genom välgörenhet – ”A  practical love and care for our neighbours.”

Just nu samlar de in olika korta historier av deras verksamhet runt världen. Den nedre historian skrev jag på uppdrag av WTP-EJYMCA.

Al-Rawa’in

The small bedouin community of Al-Rawa’in lies southeast of the Bethlehem governorate. Procuring vegetables in Al-Rawa’in was one of the main challenge that the community faced up until June 2015. This is because there was no market on site and the closest market to the village was approximately 18 km away. Moreover, residents do not have access to public transportation services. This means that whenever they needed vegetables, they had to carpool and travel long distances. This was costly and time consuming. The only other option was to wait for the vegetable merchant to pass by. The vegetable merchant generally passes through the village once every two weeks but sometimes it is only once a month. This merchant sold his vegetables to the community at extremely high prices since it was necessary for him to travel a long distance to reach Al-Rawa’in.

After undergoing the PVCA training, residents of Al-Rawa’in have identified poverty, unemployment, and a lack of income generating opportunities for women. These were the greatest risks facing their community at that time. The community members’ main source of income used to be earned through livestock and animal husbandry. However, the cost of production was too high, so in the end, they had to sell most of their animals. The men in Al-Rawa’in started travelling to other villages and cities to work on farms for some months of the year until they could gather sufficient income that would help to support them and their families for the entire rest of the year. The East Jerusalem-YMCA-Women’s Training Program decided that establishing  house gardens in Al-Rawa’in and distributing ”inputs” will help contribute to minimizing the risks (mentioned above) and would be a solution to the challenges faced by the community to acquire vegetables. Therefore, 19 house gardens were established in total for 22 women, altogether benefitting 35 families (240 individuals). Each house garden has a land area of between 150 to 250 square meters, and is prepared with a fence, drip irrigation pipes, a water tank, fertilizers, and fertilizing machines. The women underwent agricultural training, provided by the YMCA-WTP, and learned the basics of farming and how to utilize the equipment. Seeds and transplants were also part of the house garden package.

Three months after cultivation, the families no longer needed to buy vegetables as they currently had access to more diverse, and organic food sources locally. The women beneficiaries are currently able to save money and have begun purchasing seedlings and transplants by themselves. They have been producing huge amounts of tomatoes, lettuce, thyme, courgettes, aubergines, and others.  For those that have surplus, community members sell or trade vegetables with each other.  Community members have trouble marketing and selling their surplus outside of Al-Rawa’in due to restrictions from Israeli checkpoints. However, through facilitation of the YMCA-WTP, the women producers have been connected to two merchants from Bethlehem. The two merchants travel to Al-Rawa’in periodically to purchase and collect these vegetables from the women. The women are currently very proud of their produce.

Mona Arara, age 38, is one of the beneficiaries of this project. She was new to farming prior to the training and has 13 members in her household. “Before I had a house garden,” she said, “my family was limited to consuming only what was locally accessible to us. Tomatoes, onions, and potatoes were the most common. There was little to choose from, meals were not diverse. Since WTP has implemented this project, this is no longer a problem! Now all of us in the community are able to consume a variety of healthy vegetables that we can grow ourselves!”

 

Jubai

Det finns ett litet samhälle som kallas Jubai i Area C utanför Bethlehem. Jag fick åka dit på besök med min lokala mentor, Nancy. Det var fem kvinnor där som gav oss det varma välkomnandet som palestinierna är kända för. De visade oss runt staden och sen blev vi bjuden på te och kakor när de började berätta om riskerna som plågar deras by.

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När jag satt och pratade med kvinnorna hade vi en väldigt trevlig stämning. De verkade vara så glada att ha någon där att dela deras historier med och alla upprepade hur välkommen jag var. Samtidigt var inte alla av deras berättelser så upplyftande. En som heter Raida berättade om hur bosättare hade kört över hennes åttaåriga dotter när hon var på väg hem från skolan förra året. Barnet överlevde men hennes ben blev helt krossade. Fortfarande behöll hon ett lugnt leende när hon tog fram mobilen för att visa mig bilder på hennes blödande barn när hon låg medvetslös i ett dike. Bilderna togs direkt när hon blev hittad av kameror som YM hade gett till samhället för att kunna få bevis när de blir utsatta för misshandel). Dock går det inte att bevisa om olyckan hände av misstag eller med avsikt.

Kommunen ligger nära en israelisk bosättning och utsätts ofta för misshandel av unga israeler som kan komma in i deras stad och förstöra. Det är ingen auktoritet på plats att stoppa dem. Damerna berättade om hur bosättare hade bränt ned en hel olivgård, nu är det få träd kvar runt byn. För tio månader sedan hade några unga män kommit in och bränt mosken så den förstördes helt (ingen omkom).

Samhället har fortfarande inget bra sätt att bli av med sop- och avloppsvatten. De bor också  med opålitlig tillgång till vatten.

Invånarna bor under hot av demolering. Det händer att soldater kommer och lägger en demoleringslapp på ett hus, tar ett kort på det för att sen kunna bevisa att de har gett underrättelse, men sen tar de bort lappen igen och går sin väg. När det är dags för huset att rivas, blir det ibland en total överraskning för familjen som bor där. Så blev en av damernas broder av med sitt hus. De sade att när det händer någon, är de tvungna att försöka hitta en familjemedlem eller bekant i sitt kontaktnätverk att bo med, annars skaffar de sig ett tält från en NGO, (de nämnde Rädda Barnen) det finns inte mycket mer direkt stöd för dem. Sedan fem år tillbaka är husbyggnad totalt förbjuden.

De var stolt att berätta att varenda ungdom som klarade gymnasieskola gick vidare till universitetsutbildning. De bästa studenterna utbildade sig till läkare eller ingenjör. Men sen finns det inget jobb för dem. De flesta palestinska män som bor i Jubai jobbar som kroppsarbetare i den israeliska bosättningen! Många palestinier ser det som förräderi men för andra är det jobbet det enda som finns. Det är ett svårt val.

EJ-YMCA har varit involverade i samhällsprojekt i Jubai i två år och nio månader för att bemöta riskerna och kämpa för att förstärka kvinnornas roll. Efter det har gått tre år ska YM dra sig tillbaka för att se hur hållbart och framgångsrikt deras projekt kommer att bli utan dem.

Nancy är projektkoordinator från YM, med henne kom action plans, och många idéer om hur man på bästa sätt kan lösa samhällets sårbarheter. Ett av deras främsta hinder har varit en man som kallas Noman Achmal Hamden, han styr över byrådet och har tydligen varit emot varenda förslag, eftersom han ville behålla all makt själv. YM jobbar för att underlätta kontakt mellan samhällen och biståndsgivare som USAID och Christian Aid och andra. Kvinnorna berättade även hur, efter snart tre år, så är mannen bara misstänksam mot YM och ovillig att samarbeta även när det skulle resultera i bistånd. Han vill inte ändra deras traditionella maktsystem. Men snart är gubbens senaste fyra år som vald ämbetsman slut! I februari ska en där, Yousra, kandidera sig. Hon blir den första kvinnan i denna by som ska prova att ställa upp för valet. Omval sker varje fyra år.

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Yousra, första kvinnliga kandidat

Med hjälp av Women’s Training Program-EJ-YMCA har medverkan underlättat mellan USAID och Jubai, kvinnorna hade fått 9000ILS (ungefär 21,500SEK) för att starta deras senaste projekt, en liten affär där det säljs köksutrustning. Det har bara varit fyra veckor sedan de har öppnat och de har redan tjänat tillbaka 4500ILS. De hoppas att kunna expandera utan vidare bidrag.

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De håller också på att upprätta en klinik och förskola och de är nästan klara! Tillsammans med medel från GVC Italy, de har byggt brunnar. I städer som detta, är vattentillgång inte taget för givet och invånarna måste använda vattnet extremt försiktigt, alltid med en tanke på framtiden. Så med stöd från GVC hade Jubai blivit erbjuden att få byggt rör till husen som inte har rinnande vatten för närvarande. Hamden avvisade erbjudandet.

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Färgen torkar i den nya kliniken

De lokala volontärer genomgår civilförsvarsutbildning i Bethlehem. De samlar redskap för nödsituationer som brandsläckare och generatorer.

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Redskap för civilförsvar.

Beit Hasan

Hej Alla. Nu har jag kommit igång med praktiken med The East Jerusalem Women’s Training Program. De introducerar utbildning inom området ”Hemkompetens och by ekonomi” för kvinnor ute på landsbygden.

Nyligen fick jag åka ut till Beit Hasan och se verksamheten på plats. Jag åkte med Sukaina från EJ-YMCA kontoret och en annan man, Sahd, som blev anställd som konsult för det här projektet. Han hade utbildat sig till lantbruksingengör i Ryssland.

På vägen passerade vi genom två bemannade vägspärrar, men de var båda öppna så vi kunde köra rakt igenom utan att stanna.

Så småningom närmade vi oss en väg som var smockfull med stillastående bilar. Det var en av de viktigaste vägarna in i Ramallah och används av många palestinier som är påväg till arbetet i staden. Sahd berättade att nästan dagligen,  så stoppar soldaterna på just den kontrollstationen all trafik för ungefär en timme. Detta är tillräckligt för att hålla vägen helt överbelastad under resten av förmiddagen.

Vi kom fram till en palestinsk myndighetsbyggnad i byn vid 8:30 då det var tänkt att Sahd’s föredrag skulle börja. Det var omkring fem kvinnor och en del små barn där. Sukaina berättade ”Oh Linda, detta är en av de dåliga vanor hos oss palestinier, vi är alltid sena!” Inom  nästa timman, så ökade antalet människor  till tjugo kvinnor. Alla bar hijab och svarta kläder i tjockt material, många med vackra silver eller guld broderier. Temperaturen hade redan nått 32 grader.

De flesta av de närvarande kvinnor anses som flyktingar eftersom antingen de eller deras föräldrar tvingades lämna sina hem och fly ut till Västbanken under “al Nakba” eller ”katastrofen” av 1948. Därmed hade de förlorat sina hem och egendom utan att få krigskadestånd. Dem allra flesta, åldrar 16-60, var tvungen att bruka hyrt land runt om i byn för att försörja sig.




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