Promoting food Sovereignty for Palestinian Refugees Living in Camps through Rooftop Gardening

"Thank you so much for this good news. We are very pleased to have been amongst the winners for this year. We are glad that the judges were able to see the value of our project interventions with Palestinian families in camps while addressing ecology and the key concept of sustainability which will ultimately lead to achieving food sovereignty and improved living conditions. Thank you so much for acknowledging UAWC’s work!"
What the judges said

The judges said the UAWC food gardening project had proved to be an “effective small scale agricultural project.” The project’s beneficiaries live on land administered by the UN with little or no space for agriculture. Any agriculture has had to ‘think vertically’ with the rooftop gardening and seed project ensuring hard-won self-sufficiency. It was this year’s only finalist focused on ecology and emphasising sustainability instead of financial imperatives. “For people facing evictions and loss of independence this is a project genuinely rooted in community and self-reliance by producing its own food.”

UAWC's Home-grown Project: What the Beneficiaries Say

“This project is really beneficial and well-thought-out. In the camps, we don’t have any space or land, and thus we have very limited options for planting and cultivation. We really like the idea of using spaces on rooftops, and it is without a doubt that this was a very successful project. The bags we received to plant the seedlings do not require a lot of space yet they will still provide us with our needs of essential food for the winter season.” – Israa’ Manasreh, the Al-Dheisheh Camp, Bethlehem

“We are glad to be amongst the beneficiaries of this initiative by UAWC. We hope that this project will continue and grow bigger and that in the future we can become completely self-sufficient and produce our own food basket. Because here at the camp, we are in a closed area, surrounded by the Israeli separation wall, and we were also largely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We actually don’t have anywhere to plant, we use buckets, empty bottles, broken pipes to cultivate, and now we use the provided inputs provided by UAWC.” – Amnah Ajarmeh, the Aida Camp,  Bethlehem.

“For people who live in the camps, we have very limited to non-existent space. It is my dream to have at least one meter of land to be able to plant a tree or seedlings such as tomatoes, or even just mint. So, I find myself forced to install small pots on my door or windows to be able to plant sage or mint. We thank UAWC for their initiative in this project and for thinking outside the box to utilize the maximum space to do the planting. With this intervention, UAWC has helped us accomplish part of our dream of growing our own produce in the camp.” – Nawal Ewis, the Aida Camp,  Bethlehem.

Ockenden International’s four cash prizes recognise and reward innovative projects that deliver evidential self-reliance to refugees and/or displaced people, the hallmark of Ockenden International since its inception in 1951. The four annual prizes are open to projects or programmes focused on Internally Displaced People (IDP)/refugee self-reliance anywhere in the world. The other nine 2022 finalists (with the other three winners italicised) are: