14 novembre 2013 4 14 /11 /novembre /2013 01:05
- Published on Monday, 11 November 2013 13:50
Jesse Gonzalez/PNN Exclusive
Residents of the northern West Bank city of Kafr Qaddum gathered Sunday to celebrate the completion of this season’s “cash for work” initiative, which was sponsored by the French international solidarity organization Premiere Urgence Aide Medicale Internationale (PU-AMI).
Kafr Qaddum is located in Area “C,” and is adjacent to illegal settlements with aggressive Israeli settlers. The people are unable to access some 5,000 dunams of their olive groves. As part of the “cash for work” program, PU-AMI organized and paid local workers to assist with the olive harvesting, which was necessary due to the fact that farmers receive permits to access their lands for only one week, and it is critical to harvest as many olives as possible in that short window of time.
Another “cash for work” project was the construction of a retaining wall to prevent mudslides in an area of town that had suffered repeatedly from such natural disasters.
Samir Kaddum, head of the Kafr Qaddum municipality said the projects had a “great impact on the village’s economy,” while also succeeding to “support Palestinians’ steadfastness on their land.” He added that the projects reduced the effects of settlers’ attacks on the village and that he hoped PU-AMI would expand its development projects.
Women who participated in “cash for work” crocheted baby clothing and sewing dolls. Thuraya Tabib, coordinator of the French affairs, told PNN, “This project was great for me. I gained skills in public relations and developed my handiwork through sewing projects.”
M. Mathieu Ebbesen-Goudin, Head of Mission for PU-AMI, said the ceremony was a success, and that the organization hopes to do more projects in Kafr Qaddum. He told PNN, “We hope that we’ll be here next year, but we work one year at a time and we can never be one hundred percent sure. But we will try our best.”
PU-AMI has been implementing “cash for work” for the past four years in Kafr Qaddum, with the goal of providing temporary employment while supporting necessary and beneficial community projects.