Celebrating the Right to Life, Food and Shelter for Women and Bees in Adversity
“To celebrate the right to life, food, shelter, and wellbeing for ‘women and bees in adversity’ and to recognise the role of women as designers of change”, Sabiha Malik created a programme model which enables sustainable beekeeper livelihoods for women living in hardship conditions where socio-economic inequalities constrain their capacities and silence their individual voices.
The World Bee Project’s pioneering 2019 pilot programme successfully established apiaries for 15 Palestinian women on the rooftops of their homes and created little rooftop gardens, enabling them to create promising new livelihoods for themselves through the sale of honey and ‘rooftop bee tourism’. The programme was funded by the Sobell Foundation in the UK, and others.
The 2019 beekeeping training was taught and led by Yossi Aud, founder of Bees for Peace. The programme was assisted by Yossi Aud, Matan Israeli, founder of Muslala and by Tariq Nasser, town planner. It was supported by the Municipality of Jerusalem Department of Employment; Ir Amim, an Israeli activist non-profit founded in 2004 that focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Jerusalem; Matti, a non-profit organisation focusing on employment; and the Jerusalem Green Fund, an Israeli non-profit organisation focusing on sustainability and environment in Jerusalem. The World Bee Project gratefully acknowledges their support.
In 2019, the women started selling honey from the beehives on their rooftops.
A vibrant community of Palestinian women beekeepers now thrives in East Jerusalem. The programme was highly successful. Nothing of the kind had ever been attempted in East Jerusalem.
In response to the exhilaration and enthusiasm the programme generated in East Jerusalem communities, the Jerusalem Municipality (Department of Employment and Social Welfare) offered its future support, and the East Jerusalem Central Library offered its terraces for the creation of a new community centre where beekeeping trainings and workshops could be hosted, and consequently, in 2021 Matan Israeli, Yossi Aud and Tariq Nasser founded the Sinsila Center.
We are proud that the programme has now been adopted by the East Jerusalem authorities and beekeeping trainings for Palestinian women in East Jerusalem will continue with their support and under their aegis.
The World Bee Project programmes for women are endorsed by Human Rights lawyer,
Professor Philippe Sands, QC.
The World Bee Project continues to support women in communities suffering from conflict and adverse socio-economic conditions. In 2022 we launched a new 3-year programme supporting 80 tribal women in Tamil Nadu, India.