A project in the first half of this year helped 50 women build up their home-based businesses in Palestine. This was supported with funds from the Australian government, Australian Education Union and donors to Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the intensified Israeli occupation, the economy and labour market were negatively affected. Due to this, the MA’AN Development Center pivoted the project from training for employment to developing the abilities of women to run small businesses from their homes, mainly food production or processing, or handicrafts, for local e-commerce.
Most of the women were from Jerusalem, Ramallah, Nablus and Hebron. Through group and individual sessions, MA’AN addressed psychosocial issues and social constraints related to sustaining successful businesses. Within a feminist framework, the groups enhanced life skills, self-esteem, communication skills, decision-making, conflict resolution prioritising and planning.
Aya Mlaitat (pictured), 29 years old, is the business owner of Al Ekhwa Sheep Farm in Tubas. “The sessions benefited me a lot because I discovered that I have come a long way. I am not giving up. I will continue my own business and now I understand better how to nurture my family and navigate through my work at the same time”.
The project conducted training workshops in business, marketing and social media skills. It also provided individually tailored support to women in professional graphic design, photography and videos of products, branding, and packaging. The women further developed new logos, posters, promotional business ads on social media, and packaging advertisements. In the pilot social media promotion campaign, one million people were reached.
This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) and members of Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA.