Silver Tent

Starting 2010
Objective Improving thewomen status in the Jahalin Bedouin communities, creating job opportunities that aim to consolidate their role within the family and society
Project Status Completed
Partner Cooperativa Nazca, Jerusalem Bedouins Cooperative Committee
Funded by Fondazione Cariplo, Consolato Francese di Gerusalemme, Fondo Provinciale Milanese per la Cooperazione Internazionale, Comuni di Arluno (MI), Agrate Brianza (MI), Bresso(MI), Cesano Boscone(MI), Corsico (MI), Rozzano (MI), Sesto San Giovanni (MI), Coordinamento Enti Locali per la pace della Provincia di Cremona, Comunità S. Angelo di Milano, Comuni di Segariu (MC), Villanovafranca (MC), Lunamatrona (MC) e Consorzio due Giare, Associazione dei Palestinesi di Lombardia, Coop. Soc. Centri Rousseau, Pax Cristi, Ass. Namastè, Ass. Aktivamente, Associazione Fonte di Speranza Onlus, Art Kichen, Art Kitchen Ethica

“Silver Tent” involves the Jahalin Bedouin communities of the desertic east area of Jerusalem and the village of Anata. Formerly nomadic, following decades of continuous expulsions, the Jahalin have lost access to land for pasture and, therefore, their main source of livelihood. Today are confined in camps of shacks that arise on degraded lands, without access to water and electricity and far from schools and hospitals. The women status has deteriorated over time due to the disintegration of the community and traditional life style. Relegated to dilapidated shacks, women do not have real opportunities to exchange with the outside. Their main economic activities – the carpet weaving, embroidery and craft of jewelry – are virtually extinct. The situation of children is also difficult: the illiteracy rate and school dropouts have increased dramatically because of the restrictions on the infrastructure construction imposed by the Israeli army.

The project promotes the women and children human rights of  the Jahalin Bedouin communities, through the creation of job opportunities and the promotion of educational services.

In particular, six young Bedouin women were trained on the production of handmade jewelry, enhancing knowledge and typical tradition of Palestinian Bedouin communities, with the aim to market the products both on the local and the Fair Trade in Italy. The sale proceeds, as well as allowing women to contribute with their salaries to the family income, is partly reinvested for the realization of educational and extra-curricular school activities for 400 Bedouin children.

This type of intervention triggers a process of development that involves the entire community, as part of the resources generated by the adults work are used to improve the condition of children. Women regain autonomy and confidence but also a central role within the community.

The project has created Silver Tent, a nonprofit women cooperative specialized in the production of handcrafted Bedouin jewelery.