SwitchMed unveils the 8 selected grassroots initiatives in Jordan, Palestine, Egypt and Israel
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At SwitchMed we believe it is essential to support community-based eoc and social innovation initiatives to maximize their influence and impact, thereby contributing to the emergence of more sustainable models of consumption and production.
In order to help spread eco and social innovative processes, SwitchMed implements Civil Society Empowerment Workshops at national level. These national workshops include intensive 4-day workshops and are organised in each of the SwitchMed target countries in coordination with local partners. On average, 20 community initiatives are shortlisted in each country, making a total of 180 initiatives across the programme as a whole. Then, out of 20 initiatives, SwitchMed is supporting two per country; the selected initiatives will receive a “coaching” support provided by one of the trainers and a technical support provided by an external expert to respond to the technical needs of the initiative. In addition, they will become part of the Switchers platform and will receive support to develop a crowdfunding campaign, if required.
While the support phase for initiatives based in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Lebanon is ending soon the one in Palestine, Jordan, Egypt and Israel has just begun.
In Palestine, SwitchMed has selected Sun4You, an initiative that has found a smart way to reduce food waste while providing a source of income for many marginalized women. Led by Jerusalem Women Forum, Sun4You members will use a solar energy system to dry collected market’s excess fruits and vegetables, then sell these dry products. This pilot project will start soon in villages located in the south of Jerusalem. The second initiative selected in Palestine is the Ecological Agriculture and Sustainable Tourism. Based in a farm in the beautiful region of Deir Ballut, this initiative will encourage farmers, citizens and students to adopt sustainable farming practices and will promote locally produced healthy food by connecting farmers with consumers. This project will also promote ecotourism and build awereness on the unique natural and historical heritage in the region.
In Jordan, Green Patches from Azraq will be supported by SwitchMed in order to encourage community members to create green recreational spaces and parks. Youth will be involved in the garden making process and will get familiar with the use of grey water systems, and with repair-reuse-recycle culture. The second initiative selected Renewable Sun from al-Kerak will improve the life of its community members by cultivating organic and healthy produce on roofs, balconies and public spaces.
In Egypt, Go Bike initiative is five years old and has been spreading the culture of cycling by organizing weekly cycling tours to visit archaeological, touristic, cultural and recreational sites. Make your Rooftop Paradise is an Egyptian initiative that promotes planting edible crops and medicinal plants on roofs to insure continuous healthy food supply to marginalized families of Qena and Sohag areas. It also aims at raising awareness on the importance of recycling household waste to tackle environmental pollution.
In Israel, the selected initiatives are Kayamuta and Community Bike Workshop. Kayamuta aims at creating a “green revolution” in Jerusalem by promoting a sustainable urban lifestyle.The initiative empowers community individuals through workshops, festivals, courses, and shared community spaces/resources. Founded in 2014, Kayamuta has since then encouraged the production of local and small-scale products, creating and running urban farming exhibits and spreading alternative consumerism culture highlighting the repair-reuse-recycle life style.
The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Community Bike Workshop promotes the use of sustainable transport by facilitating access to bicycles and teaching skills required to fix them. The initiative also helps reducing waste by reusing discarded bicycles and parts. Community Bike Workshop redirects these materials back into underserved communities where they teach community members to refurbish them and then re-integrate them into the transportation grid. Currently fundraising to open a permanent space the initiative will also produce electricity through stationary bicycles situated in their facility. Whenever needed, people will ride these bicycles and provide electricity needed for lighting, charging computers, etc.
Further information is coming soon at the Civil Society Organisation’s corner.