Twelve women in Nuseirat Refugee Camp, Gaza took an intensive training course for six months. They learned how to make items like scarfs, aprons, and kindergarten uniforms to sell locally in Gaza and have established a small sewing department that provides income for their families.

Poverty and Isolation

Nearly 40% of families in Gaza are living in poverty and 80% rely on aid from international organizations to survive. Meanwhile the ongoing blockade of Gaza makes it very difficult to import and export products. This project created a new source of income for 12 families in need and also meets the needs of the local community by offering quality items for a reasonable price.

The project also breaks the isolation for the women providing new skills and a space in the Afaq Women's Center for them to come and work and socialize.

Location: Nuseirat Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip, Palestine

The Gaza Strip is home to approximately 1.9 million people, including 1.3 million Palestine refugees. For the last decade, the socioeconomic situation in Gaza has been in steady decline due primarily to the blockade on land, air, and sea imposed by Israel since 2007. The blockade—or siege— continues to severely restrict the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza. The economy has been devastated, resulting in the impoverishment and de-development of a highly skilled and well-educated society. The average unemployment rate is well over 41 per cent – one of the highest in the world. Over half a million Palestine refugees in Gaza live in eight extremely overcrowded Palestine refugee camps. More than 75,000 people live in Nuseirat Refugee Camp.

In July 2014, Israel began its third major attack on Gaza within seven years with intense Israeli aerial and navy bombardment. The scale of human loss, destruction, devastation and displacement was catastrophic. More than 2,000 Palestinians were killed, including over 500 children. Many more suffered physical and psychological injuries.

MECA Project Partner

Afaq Jadeeda Association, Nuseirat Refugee Camp, Gaza