1. NEF's Jina Krause-Vilmar On Al-Jazeera America


    from Near East Foundation Added 32 0 0

    NEF's Jina Krause-Vilmar is the Senior Area Practice Lead for Refugees, Gender, and Livelihoods, and helps lead NEF's efforts to assist refugees in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. She is featured on a recent al-Jazeera America segment discussing the importance of giving refugees a "hand up, not a handout."

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    • Eyad, a Palestinian Partnering with Israelis


      from Blake Stilwell Added 829 1 0

      Eyad is a beneficiary of the Near East Foundation and USAID's Youth Agribusiness Partnerships program. The program is designed to foster economic development between the two economies while introducing Israeli agribusiness entrepreneurs with their Palestinian counterparts. Eyad and his partner Alla run a cooperative in the West Bank city of Tulkarim. From there, they buy seeds from their Israeli partners, seeds of high value crops popular in Israel. They cultivate the plants in their nursery or grow the crops entirely, or they move the seedlings to other Palestinian farmers' fields, then sell the harvest back to their Israeli partners at a profit, creating jobs at every step in the value chain and improving livelihoods for themselves and every one involved.

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      • Food Security for Recovering Populations


        from Near East Foundation Added 22 0 0

        The 2012 Crisis in Mali strained the existing food production systems of many localities. The staff of the Near East Foundation (NEF) in Mali are all native Malians who stayed in Mali during the entire crisis. After the rebels withdrew and the internally displaced started to return to their homes, NEF began to help the locals rebuild and improve their livelihoods. NEF sought to restart economic activity repair necessary infrastructure, and get agricultural key inputs to where it was needed most.

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        • Knowledge, Voice, and Enterprise: The Women of Tíacouaré


          from Near East Foundation Added 166 0 0

          The women of the village of Tíacouaré in Northern Mali have a say in the affairs of their people. One local woman, called Kani, acts as special advisor to the chief of the village. Whenever an issue involving women arises, through Kani, the voices of women of Tíacouaré are heard. So when a Tuareg Rebellion in Mali led to the fall of the government, made travel unsafe, and threatened the survival of Tíacouaré, the women banded together to ensure a future for their people. With the help of NEF and USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, they upgraded how they get water to their village and fields, and planted a garden to augment their food supply. Our work is based on a conviction that, to play an active role in the development of their communities and countries, people need opportunities and tools: the knowledge to participate in civic and economic life, a voice in public decisions that affect their wellbeing, and a means of making a meaningful living. We call this approach “Knowledge, Voice, and Enterprise”- a philosophy reflected in all of NEF’s work.

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          • Inside the Near East Relief Archives: The Birds Nest


            from Near East Foundation Added 26 0 0

            Nellie Miller Mann sailed for Beirut in 1921 with other members from the Mennonite Relief Commission. She spent two years there as the treasurer's secretary. Nellie would often visit the orphans in nearby Sidon. They called her "Miss Nellie," as she photographed them. Her photos of the Bird's Nest Orphanage survive to this day as some of the most well-preserved moments in the Near East Relief Historical Society's Digital Museum. Visit http://neareastmuseum.com to learn more.

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            • NEF Partners: Jabar, West Bank


              from Near East Foundation Added 7 0 0

              In a region where agriculture is the backbone of the people's livelihoods and culture, water is the most important resource. The Palestinian West Bank experiences shortages all over the area and trucking in water can be expensive. Olive farmers must be very careful how they use their water. Irrigated trees can yield up to 78% more olives snd 96% more olive oil than unirrigated ones. Olive Oil Without Borders participants are trained to make the most of their water through techniques designed to maximize the tree's usage and slowly decrease water use between planting and harvesting. Farmers like Jabar from the West Bank village of Salfit see the differences immediately and teach others the process. Olive Oil Without Borders is a three year collaboration between NEF and USAID, designed to promote economic cooperation and knowledge sharing between Palestinian and Israeli olive producers. Workshops, hands on training, marketing and business planning are just a few of the elements shared between the two, facilitated by NEF. The project is currently in its second three-year iteration.

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              • NEF in Mali: Our Mission in Action


                from Near East Foundation Added 128 1 0

                The story of how a small rainwater collection dam in the Malian village of Pélou came to be is a short but meaningful reflection of NEF's work around the world. Partnering with the Embassy of the Netherlands in Bamako, NEF and the village leaders discussed how best to improve the livelihoods and food security of the people in the area. the community, with help from NEF came together to make these improvements. NEF works within partner communities to help them understand their own needs, decide what improvement to make based on their individual needs, and help them overcome obstacles to sustainable development, prosperity and peace. Our work is grounded in the belief that, to play an active role in the development of their communities and countries, people need opportunities and tools: the knowledge to participate in civic and economic life, a voice in public decisions that affect their wellbeing, and a means of making a meaningful living.

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                • Faten, An Iraqi Refugee in Jordan


                  from Near East Foundation Added 6 0 0

                  Faten is a refugee who fled Iraq for Jordan with her husband. She was unable to continue her work baking because of a heart condition and so was left without a source of income. Frustrated and unable to find work in Jordan because of her refugee status, she turned to NEF and the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration's Enhancing the Economic Resilience of Displaced Iraqis and Poor Jordanians program. In this program, Faten learned to make perfumes from her home to make a difference in the daily lives of her and her husband. As the name suggests, this project was designed to benefit both the host population of Zarqa and the Iraqis living there. The program teaches a variety of valuable vocational skills, such as leather work, perfumery, and sewing. It also teaches participants how to capitalize on these skills by starting small businesses of their own. For the Jordanians, they are given a startup grant based on business plans they create for themselves, using what they learn. For Iraqis, they receive a small assistance grant to help sustain them until they find their new homes. The program not only empowered Faten to advance herself and her husband, it gave her a feeling of pride and independence as she sustains her livelihood with dignity.

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                  • The Armenian Genocide and the Birth of Citizen Philanthropy


                    from Near East Foundation Added 2,436 4 0

                    The Near East Foundation began its now century-long history as the American citizen philanthropy movement Near East Relief, aiding the refugees fleeing Ottoman Turkey from the massacres and deportations that would coin the word genocide. What started out as a relief effort turned to development starting in 1927 and was based on a systematic needs assessment across the Middle East. Renamed the Near East Foundation, this organization focused on improving standards of living, building capacity for long-term change, and improving relations between groups. The earliest work as NEF started where communities where orphans had settled. Since then, NEF’s work could be seen in 40 countries and affected millions of lives. This kind of outpouring of humanitarian support seems commonplace today, but not so in 1915, the first time this kind of work was undertaken. Its impact on international philanthropy and foreign relations was profound. America’s response to the Armenian Genocide shaped our humanitarian impulse as an organization and as a nation – the idea that average people could make a difference in far away places started in 1915; it is part of who we are today.

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                    • Internally Displaced in Mali


                      from Near East Foundation Added 117 0 0

                      During the 2012 Crisis in Northern Mali, many were forced to flee their homes and businesses after they were attacked first by Tuareg Separatists and then Islamic Jihadists. These people became refugees in their own country. Aissiata, a restaurateur, Nahoum, a farmer, and Hamaye, a carpenter were all forced to flee their businesses for months or years. When they returned, they weren't alone. NEF and its partners first provided emergency help and now provide help for long-term economic recovery.

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