Innovation at home: With UNIFIL support, Lebanese women learn to make most of home gardens

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21 Apr 2021

Innovation at home: With UNIFIL support, Lebanese women learn to make most of home gardens

As the world marked World Creativity and Innovation Day yesterday, Lebanese women in the south-eastern village of Rachaya al Foukhar are benefitting from a UNIFIL-supported project that hones their skills in getting optimum benefits out of their home gardens.

The project started earlier this month, with UNIFIL partnering with a local NGO “Sphere Building Tomorrow” in training 24 women by a specialized instructor. The project will last until the end of next month.

This project is especially important for the local women, who are facing the current combination of unprecedented socio-economic crisis and pandemic emergency in Lebanon.

“The importance of this project is in relationship of ongoing periods of the prolonged economic crisis in Lebanon, and it is a woman empowerment project,” said Marius Campean, a UNIFIL civil affairs officer overseeing the project.

“At the end of the project, all women will have a chance to apply the newly learned skills in their own gardens because they will receive, as part of the project, tools, materials, seeds and seedlings to plant in their own gardens.”

Participants joined the course in large part due to the ripple effects of the economic crisis and the pandemic. About half of the participants recently moved back to their villages from cities where opportunities are drying up.

According to Mr. Campean, a total of 15 sessions will be delivered to the participants, with 12 of these sessions being practical.

“Each training will be done in different gardens, and the project will end at the end of May with the distribution of necessary tools to practice in their own garden,” he added.

One of the participants, Lama Hardan, said, “We needed this because everyone is trying to get back to the mother nature by growing fruits and vegetables in their garden. Because too many people cannot afford to buy (from the markets) like before. Now it’s our chance to know theoretically and practically how to grow and benefits from our gardens.”

A representative of the Rachaya al Foukhar Municipality, Wassim Kahlil, said the participants are learning new things.

“The project is very useful, and a big thank you from the Municipality and the women of the village for this project,” he said.

The lead trainer, Nabil Saryedin, said the project teaches the participants skills in harvesting, gardening and grafting.

“We area teaching them so that they are capable of taking care of their own land, and be able to have a good harvest,” he added.

Established by the UN General Assembly in April 2017, World Creativity and Innovation Day aims to raise awareness around the importance of creativity and innovation in problem solving.

The funding for this Rachaya al Foukhar project came from UNIFIL’s Quick Impact Project (QIP). These QIPs are small-scale, rapidly implementable projects which are intended to address some of the most pressing needs of the population and support local authorities while strengthening links between UNIFIL and local communities.