Bounty In Her Own Backyard: Nawal's Story

n&nsummerv21b.jpgMultigenerational homes are common around the world, allowing grandparents to help raise their grandchildren and stay close to their adult children. In the West Bank, they also play an important role in helping low-income families enjoy a better quality of life.

Nawal, 52, and her husband share their home in the rural village of Beita with their 27-year-old son, his wife, and their three young children. The family pools their modest incomes to pay one rent check instead of two.

Nawal’s husband and son are day laborers, working jobs whenever they are available (which is not often.) And while Nawal is physically able to work, in her words, “local customs and traditions do not allow women to go out to work.”

Recognizing this, IOCC’s Women’s Empowerment in West Bank and Gaza was designed to bring economic opportunity directly to women, in their own backyards. IOCC builds greenhouses next to women’s homes so that they can grow vegetables for family consumption and for sale, all while respecting cultural norms.

With a simple “seed” gift of actual seeds, as well as other farming equipment and the greenhouse structure, Nawal and women like her are able to provide for their families, and in the case of this grandmother, help her grandchildren to have a better future.

“I am not concerned anymore about the children’s health, since they enjoy eating natural, healthy, and organic food,” Nawal told IOCC.

“I am thankful and grateful for all who helped in giving the chance to implement such a project.”

You may visit iocc.org/US to learn about volunteer opportunities with IOCC US programs, including our upcoming national youth leadership and service conference, Serve-X-Treme!

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