Peace Steps

Starting 2009
Objective Promoting the development of the local community through the promotion of income generating activities that enhance the Palestinian handicrafts
Project Status Completed
Partner Shu’fat Camp Al quds Society, Kalandia Camp Child Centre, Al Qud’s Charitable Society Shu’fat Refugee Camp; Palestinian Leather Industries Union, Ministry of Economy ANP
Bicocca University of Milano; Cooperativa  Nazca, Cooperativa Il Filò, San Paolo Hospital of Milano, Palestinian Association of Lombardy
Funded by Fondazione Cariplo, Provincia di Milano, Fondo Provinciale Milanese per la Cooperazione Internazionale, Fondazione Tavola Valdese, Comunità Sant’Angelo di Milano, Comuni di: Arluno (Mi), Bellusco (MB),  Bresso (Mi), Cesano Boscone (MI), Corsico (Mi), Cormano (Mi), Cinisello Balsamo (Mi), Cremona, Peschiera Borromeo (Mi), Trezzano sul Naviglio (Mi), Rozzano (Mi), Comuni di Segariu (MC), Villanovafranca (MC), Lunamatrona (MC) e Consorzio Sa Corona Arrubia, Associazione Fonte di Speranza Onlus, Art Kichen, Ass. Namastè, Enti locali per la Pace della Provincia di Cremona, Coop. Soc. Centri Rousseau.
– Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (from 2011)

“Peace Steps” is the development of the partnership made in previous years with the associations of the Shu’fat and Kalandia Refugee Camps. The project’s objective is the development of the local communities, through the promotion of income generating activities and support to social and educational services for children. In particular, the project aims to provide a training opportunity and work in the field of the leather manufacture for some young men in the Kalandia refugee camp. Palestine, in particular the Hebron District, has a deep-rooted manufacturing tradition, the project aims to enhance it and start a laboratory specialized in the production of leather sandals, which can be marketed on the local market and in the Italian Fair Trade circuit. In addition to ensuring a job opportunity for some young people, sales proceeds are reinvested in support of social and educational services in the refugee camps, thus helping to consolidate its economic sustainability. The last goal of the project is the creation of a cooperative specialized in the production of leather handcrafted footwear and accessories: the Peace Steps cooperative.

In 2011 thanks to the PMSP program of the intalian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it was possible to train internal staff on the production of leather accessories, aiming to diversify the cooperative production. Thanks to the intervention of Italian experts, on-site training and distance learning, Peace Steps has started the production of bags, belts and wallets, to be distributed primarily on the italian fair trade circuit. The project has also provided training on administrative management and the creation of new promotional material. In parallel it was made an action of promoting the cooperative products in Italy and the participation in some fairs. As expected, the project has supported the educational service of Kalandia and therapeutic intervention for victims of war trauma in the Shu’fat refugee camp.