MIFTAH in Beit Dukko: A story of success, aspirations and sustainability in support and empowerment
For Fatimeh Morrar and Jamalat Daoud from the village of Beit Dukko, northwest of Ramallah, the success of their jewelry/accessories project was only made possible because of MIFTAH, which has supported the project since 2016. They say MIFTAH has kept up with their progress and development in order to help overcome the challenges faced by some of the project’s beneficiaries. The project began with five women and girls from the village, a number which rose to 10 by 2018. Morrar, a member of the Beit Dukko Development Association and one of the project’s beneficiaries, says most challenges have to do with marketing their products in spite of their popularity, given that they are heritage-themed accessories that highlight Palestinian history and culture.
Morrar commended MIFTAH’s continuous support over the past three years, which she says included two groups of 10 women and girls from the village who completed training in the manufacture of jewelry/accessories in addition to training in management and marketing. Today, they work inside and outside the village and train other girls and women given the demand on their products and the people’s desire to possess things from their heritage.
Both Morrar and Daoud say there are many positive returns from this project, including financial and social returns for girls and women in Beit Dukko. First, they maintain, it provides them with a steady income which constitutes an important part of the family’s income and therefore empowers them economically and allows them to contribute to the wellbeing of the family. Furthermore, the social return is that the beneficiaries are introduced to different social sectors and their circle of relations and influence is broadened through this project and by their participation in exhibits and local bazaars that showcase their products. As such, the returns and benefits of the project continue to increase for the beneficiaries, especially after MIFTAH carried out several interventions, namely networking with the Businesswomen’s Forum on behalf of the project in order to create an even more positive return on the beneficiaries by involving them in local and international bazaars.
Morrar says “marketing was one of our most significant challenges”, but maintained that MIFTAH played an important role in overcoming this challenge, whether by holding more exhibits such as the “Damascus Gate Bazaar” over a year ago where the broader society was introduced to their products; or through marketing these products abroad. “The networking and public relations MIFTAH carried out was extremely important, especially holding bazaars abroad, which contributed to more widely marketing our products and generating even better incomes for the beneficiaries.”
MIFTAH project coordinator Hanan Said says the project coincides with MIFTAH’s approach in supporting and empowering Palestinian women and highlighting the pioneer role of these women in Palestinian society, adding that it falls under the organization’s project “Economic development of communities in marginalized Palestinian areas”. This is a project, which MIFTAH has been implementing since 2008 in cooperation with the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. Mrs Said says the project is aimed at contributing to the development of local communities in marginalized areas, especially those in Area C by targeting young women in particular to play an effective and active role aimed at elevating the status of women in these communities. It is also aimed at strengthening the steadfastness of citizens on their land in several Jerusalem-area villages and at contributing to national efforts to combat poverty and unemployment among women and their families in marginalized rural areas.