I am writing to you from Gaza where women are a mainstay in the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation, siege, and apartheid. Women are also central to all the work MECA and our partners accomplish in Palestine.

On this International Women’s Day, I want to highlight a new and amazing MECA project in Gaza to support Urban Women Agripreneurs who are developing small businesses based on traditional agricultural practices. For years, I have seen how women work their fingers to the bone to make a better life for their children, and how they dig into the rock to sustain their livelihoods.

These women already had their small enterprises destroyed many times in Israeli attacks, while they struggled with the impact of poverty, unemployment, pandemic lockdowns. along with the lack of water and electricity. It is so inspiring to see women who lost everything in the May 2021 assault on Gaza now providing income for many families by growing crops, raising chickens, keeping bees, and fishing.

Ihsan lives in Maghazi camp, close to Israel. She has been supporting fifteen family members since 2007 by beekeeping. One of her greatest challenges is the Israeli spraying of toxic substances into the military “buffer zone”, which kills trees and bees. After Ihsan’s entire project was destroyed in the most recent Israeli attacks, MECA and our partner provided her with two beehives to start over and she hopes to start raising chickens, as well.

Through your support, MECA empowers the women financially and psychologically. We support their steadfastness and tell them in many ways that there are people like you who think of them, appreciate their struggle, and work with them side by side in order to provide a decent life for their children.

Thank you for celebrating women in Palestine and around the world who are working for freedom, justice, and a better future for all children.

All of us at MECA wish you a joyful International Women’s Day!

Aseel is a hard-working woman agripreneur who is working 500 meters away from the border in the town of Khuza’a, east of Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip. She is owner of the Green Girls agri-enterprise for farming which adopts safe farming methods, she started planting peas, lettuce and radish on an area of one dunum (1/4 acre), and then she rented more 5 dunums with her partners Ghaida, Nadine and Khalil. Their aim is to improve the project and diversify agricultural crops into carrots, cantaloupe, zucchini, spinach, red cabbage, white cabbage and cauliflower.

Read more about Aseel and “Green Girls”

The agripreneuer Aisha has always dreamed that life smiles at her, and to make a beautiful reality instead of the bitter reality that she’s living in. To do so, she started her project, cattle farming, in 2006 with help from her sons. She has 2 cows, and milks them to produce cheese, then sells the cheese to her relatives and neighbors. Her products are well-known for their good quality and and taste.

Read more about Aisha