During 2023, two exchange and training activities will be carried out with cooperatives in the West Bank area with the aim of sharing knowledge and strengthening the cooperative fabric.
“Empowerment, impact, innovation and the fight against climate change by Palestinian women’s cooperatives” is the name given to the project managed by theAssociació Catalana per la Pau (ACP) in partnership with the fundació UB Solidaritat, the Palestinian Farmers Union and L’Olivera and which has been financed by theAgència Catalana de Cooperació al Desenvolupament (ACCD). The objective of the project is to promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences in the cooperative sphere, which allows the creation of networks and alliances and strengthens the empowerment of the cooperative fabric as a key element in the fight against the climate emergency.
Within the framework of this project, in 2023 L’Olivera has organised two exchange and training activities with cooperatives in the West Bank area. The first of these activities took place between the 19th and 24th of February, in which two people from L’Olivera travelled to Palestine to learn, from the hands of technical people from the PFU, the realities and experiences of different cooperatives of Palestinian women.
On the ground, the L’Olivera deletgation in Palestine visited the Jayyus Association for food processing, a cooperative of 18 women whose objective is the dignity of work and the conservation of the land via the generation of economic activity linked to the agro-productive sector. They also visited the vegetable gardens and olive tree nurseries (adjacent to the apartheid wall) of the Tulkarm women’s cooperative led by Monna, a community leader, and finally, the women’s cooperative in the town of Irtah, who cooperatively manage vegetable fields, close to the municipality, where they grow cucumbers for preservation. In the same area, the cooperative is starting a chicken farm with aim of generating employment among the families of the town.
During the visit to the Irtah cooperative, an Israeli army attack on the nearby city of Nablus, which sought to capture two suspected terrorists, ended with the deaths of eleven civilians (including the suspected terrorists) and more than people 100 wounded. This forced the delegation to return to the city of Ramallah and suspend the visits scheduled for the following day for security reasons.
This first exchange trip has had two main objectives: first, to understand and empathise with reality and difficulties of carrying out projects in the socio-political context that exists in the region and second, to prepare, based on the concerns raised, the visit that a group of Palestinian people will make in Catalonia during the month of May.
This stay in May is the second activity that L’Olivera will carry out within the framework of this project and involves the reception of a group of 4 women members of 4 different cooperatives accompanied by two technical people from the PFU who, for one week, will be shown Catalan projects and initiatives with the aim of exchanging knowledge and experiences.
The visit will also coincide with a conference in Barcelona on farm worker movements and climate change, and the empowerment and role of women in these areas. This congress is framed within the international advocacy actions proposed by the ACP. It will welcome people representing cooperatives, associations and experiences from the Mediterranean basin: from Palestine, Jordan and Egypt to Tunisia or Catalonia. This meeting aims to be a platform for shared knowledge, creation of networks and alliances, and sharing of difficulties, realities, and opportunities for peasant movements in the face of the global climate crisis.