BENEFITING: NEAR EAST FOUNDATION
Conflict is the backdrop to daily life in many of the communities where NEF works. NEF is helping communities move beyond conflict to achieve peace, stability, and prosperity. We need your help to do more.
WHERE ARE WE DOING THIS?
In Palestine, more than 100,000 families depend on the olive oil industry, which acounts for 10 percent of GDP. Through its Olive Oil Without Borders (OOWB) program, NEF has worked with more than 3,400 olive oil stakeholders across 58 communities in Israel and Palestine. By providing training, technical support, modern equipment, and opportunities for cross-border dialogoe, strategic planning, and trade, NEF helps build relationships for collaboration and trust through the development of the region's olive sector—and broder economy.
NEF has now expanded to additional sectors, working with Israeli and Palestinian youth to start join cross border agricultural businesses—creating jobs, generating income, and growing local markets while gaining hands-on experience in business cooperation and confclit management.
- A cross-border trade policy developed through OOWB opened the border to olive oil traede for the first time in 10 years, since then Palestinian farmers exported 4,500 metric tons of olive oil to Israel generating $25 million in new income for farmers.
- 177 Israeli and Palestinian youth participated in cross-border training workshops and field trips, 51 joint cross-border business plans have been submitted, and 33 business have launched.
- 90% of OOWB participants report a most positive perception of "the other" and increased optimism about cross-border relationships.
"I benefit from my relationship with Simha because he is an experienced farmer. We exchance experiences farmer to farmer, away from policts. The land is our life. It's everything. We were born on it, lived and grew on it, and we will die on it. Our dream is to educate our kids, plant our land, and live in peace."
— Nahed Kayed, Palestinian olive farmer
"I believe that tomorrow...next year...we will sell together. One bottle from Israel, and one bottle from the Palestinians."
— Simha Helbrin, Israeli farmer and olive oil producer
NEF works with ethnically and economically diverse communities in Darfur and South Kordofan to introduce new tools—such as "supra-village" associates, local conventions, and land use management plans—for sharing natural resources more effectively and for promoting inclusive and sustainable economic and social development. NEF supported communities have been able to work together to improve natural resources through initiatives indluding community water sources, demarcation of animal migration corridors, and enrichment of pasture areas used for grazing.
- 7,625 people benefitted from enrichment planting, water harvesting, and the demarcation of 11,300 hectares of animal migration cooridors.
- 100 young adults received training in mediation and confclit prevention in Central Darfur.
- 500 young Darfuris, representing 35 ethnic groups, created "Tribes for Peace in Darfur," a dynamic new youth movement advocating for reconciliation and peace throughout Central Darfur State.
"NEF has come up with very innovative activities. These activities really have made an impact and we have seen that during this harvesting season the number of confclits betwen farmers has reduced."
— Mohamed Isehag Mohamed, Vice Chief of Abata