The European Union and the representatives of the local community of Um al-Nasser in Gaza strip celebrated the opening of Um-Al Nasser Women’s Center that was constructed in the framework of the EU fended project: “Promoting the Bedouin Centre “Children’s Land” as a participatory lab for community development in Gaza Strip that was implemented by Vento di Terra NGO in partnership with Canaan Institute of New Pedagogy.
“Hope and desire to improve your lives and those of your families are stronger than destruction. It is in this spirit that the work for the construction of the Women’s Centre started nine months ago and the European Union is proud to be part of this initiative,” said the EU Head of Cooperation Alessandra Viezzer at the inauguration ceremony.
From his side Ziyad AbuFraya, the Mayor of Um Al-Nasser village, said: “This center comes as a response to a great need for the elevation of Women’s role in our community and for that we are truly grateful to the generosity of the European Union and the hard work of Vento di Terra NGO.”
Both Ms Alssandra Viezzer, EU Head of Cooperation, and Mr Issa Saba, Director of Canaan Institute of New Pedagogy, pointed out the uniqueness of choosing the 25th of November to open the Um Al-
Nasser Women’s Center; as it coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
The Um Al-Nasser Women’s Center consists of 2 floors and a terrace. The first/ground floor contains 2 income generating laboratories operated entirely by local women. One tailoring and one carpentry that work together to produce environmentally friendly and affordable toys for children following the Montessori approach, also in the same floor we have a showroom to display the laboratories products.
The aim is to sell these toys to local kindergarten and child centers and in the future work on expanding our reach to international markets as well.
The second floor has the administration office and an office for our social worker, in addition to a multipurpose room where trainings and workshops are to be conducted for the local women of Um Al-
Nasser Bedouin village to provide them with the means of their empowerment and consequently the amelioration of their and their families’ lives.
What makes our Women’s Center special is the technique it was built with; Vento di Terra NGO defines its work with environmentally friendly building techniques and our Women’s Center was no exception to that rule. We used the CEB technique: Compressed Earth Blocks for the construction of the center.
The aim of this preference for eco-friendly methods is to use local available materials and the ability to train local manpower to have the possibility to re-use this relatively cheap and simple building technique in times of distress.