Karama Organization establishes micro rooftop greenhouses in Deheishe and sorrounding refugge camps.
Karama has established the first micro rooftop greenhouses in Deheishe. The participants are now able to harvest their own fresh vegetables for themselves and their extended families on their rooftop. This project does not only provide food security to their extended families and increase the health of the women and their families, but also will help to develop ‘green space’ in the local area which is heavily affected by the long-time occupation.
In the present situation, life in the refugee camps is highly influenced by the Israeli occupation and economic underdevelopment; many families suffer from malnutrition, which in combination with the detrimental environment of the camps leads to both physiological and physical health problems for equally adults and children.Israel’s military occupation affects all aspects of Palestinian life; political, economic, cultural and societal. Checkpoints, roadblocks and other physical and administrative barriers not only control movement across the border, but within Palestinian land, affecting access to healthcare, education, social services and employment opportunities. The situation is further complicated by the Separation Wall, and the continued and intensified development of new Israeli settlements, which are recognized as illegal under international law. Adverse conditions are accentuated within the refugee camps, which were originally built as a temporary solution to the Palestinian refugee situation. In Deheishe Camp, with more than 15.000 inhabitants, the densely populated environment places strain on under-resourced schools, sanitation systems and health care providers. All available space is utilized and commodified, leaving no room for green areas, such as parks and gardens. This negatively impacts the residents’ mental health, as surroundings affect the wellbeing of individuals. Outside the camp, available rural and agricultural space has been damaged from years of conflict and occupation. Israeli settlements take land and resources away from Palestinian communities. In this way, agriculture lost its central place in the families’ lives; affecting the availability of fresh produce and with that the price of fruits and vegetables. This causes Palestinians to reduce the quality of their food and settle for an inadequate diet, which doesn’t meet dietary or health requirements. Both acute and chronic malnutrition are major problems, especially in the refugee camps. This is shown in the latest Socio-Economic and Food Security Survey from the WFP, FAO and PCBS, which proved that more families have become food insecure in the last years in the refugee camps. One third of these families need to reduce the quality or quantity of their consumption of vegetables and fruits to go with their limited budget. This coping strategy can have a permanent cost on lives and livelihoods through poorer health and nutritional status, and the loss of future opportunities for higher skills and better paid jobs.
Giving women the lead in this project, it will empower the women by offering them social precedence and recognition, and helping to break down social norms and customs that constrain women. By letting the women form a women group that takes the lead in the development of the gardens and that is directly involved in the decision making process, the women will be challenged to use their own strength to work for solutions. They will have an attainable goal, a sense of purpose and achievement, which will increase their confidence, self-esteem and life satisfaction. The project will raise awareness in society for the rights of women and the importance of their work. With all this measures we address the lack of attention for the rights and roles of women in society, and support them to use their individual strength to address their daily problems.
The sucess of this project was so overwhelming, that Karama was able to install the first micro greenhouses in the Aida refugee camp nearby Deheishe. This fact emphasises the need for fresh and cheap products. With this project, Karama has set the cornerstone to fight malnutrition and food insecurity actively!
The already installed greenhouses are now ready to get harvested and we're proud to announce that with the help of all donators already more than 350 refugees are alimented by their own greenhouses. We provide the people also with professional trainers in order to make sure, that the people gain more experiences in agriculture. At the end they'll be able to use the seeds of the plants in order to set new plants. This is the long-term advantage of this project; it is sustainable! Once the rooftop greenhouse is installed, families can benefit for decades from it!
We're trying to establish more greenhouses in order to let more and more refugees benefit from the project. If you want to support this project, please see our donation page. Even a small grant can help to fight malnutrition and food insecurity! Thanks!