100% Made in South Lebanon

Daad Ismail, President of Deir Qanoun Ras al-Ain Cooperative Association handing over to Antoine Hadid, Director of the Tyre branch of Banque Libano-Francaise baskets of repackaged products.

A sample basket containing newly labelled products from different cooperatives.

Daad Ismail explaining the benefits of natural mallet el smeed produced by Deir Qanoun Ras al-Ain Cooperative.

Ms. Salwa Bazzi presenting one of the products to UNIFIL Sector West Commander Brig Gen Vasco Angelotti and to UNIFIL Chief Civil Affairs Mr. Albagir Adam.

A set of newly repackaged and redesigned products from different cooperatives.

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28 Aug 2013

100% Made in South Lebanon

Southern women followed a three-month training on how to present their handmade products in a viable way and reach wider markets. This training was crowned by a financial donation from Banque Libano Francaise (BLF) to the four cooperatives of Qana Handicrafts Cooperative, the Cooperative Association in Deir Qanoun Ras al-Ain, Cooperative "Al Imad" in Hariss and the Agricultural Cooperative Association in Bint Jbeil, where a number of the products of each cooperative were labelled and packaged according to the food safety requirements taught in the training.

The Quick Impact Project (QIP) was organised by UNIFIL's Civil Affairs Section and funded by UNIFIL on the "Professional Development for Women Cooperatives," and was carried out by the Atayeb al Rif cooperative, specialised in cooperative marketing in Lebanon in full coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and local authorities.

"The project was comprised of two phases," explained Magida Boutros, head of Qana Cooperative. She added, "The first included workshops about how to conduct market and cost studies, how to increase the cooperatives capitals and attract additional investors... The second aimed at improving the image and creating a new identity of the product, providing tools for the cooperatives in terms of advertisement and marketing ... so as to market our products according to the international standards."

Representing the four cooperatives during the basket-handover ceremony, Daad Ismail thanked BLF for its contribution and UNIFIL for organizing the event. "This is a significant step in the whole process. One of the main outcomes we seek while working with cooperatives is establishment of their linkages with external markets," UNIFIL Civil Affairs Officer Vidya Singh pointed out.

For his part, UNIFIL's Chief of Civil Affairs, Albagir Adam said, "Our hard work and joint efforts with the cooperatives are the foundation for the growth of the community in the south. As we take part in this project we bring together banks and the society to facilitate the obstacles faced by these cooperatives."

"We hope to be able to continue carrying out these projects so as to be able to build basic foundations to keep the people in their land, and to reduce the economic difficulties faced by the Lebanese rural community in particular," Atayeb al-Rif cooperative chairperson May Trabulsi said.

"Let me tell you this story," founder and president of Agricultural Cooperative Association in Bint Jbeil Salwa Bazzi said. "My grandmother would at the end of every winter, head to the groves and lay down her cloak on the fig tree branch, plant the land all through summer and autumn. This is how she taught me how to love my land and love to grow it..."


Article: Rania Harb
Video Editor: Suzane Badereddine
Video Camera: Mohamad Hamze
Photo: Pascual Gorriz Marcos / WO Enrico Fontana