Tag Archives: Cooperation

First Biodigester Unit at Work in Susiya

Following the success of the Villages Group’s first environmental initiative – the renewable energy project, which has been now running independently for about a year under the banner Comet-ME – the Villages Group is now launching a second environmental initiative: Biodigester units for shepherd families’ use. These systems turn the family herd’s manure into bio-gas for the family’s cooking needs.

As mentioned in our previous post,  a month ago a team led by Yair Teller installed the first Biodigester unit at the residence of the family of  Ismail Nawageh in Susiya.  After a few weeks’ incubation period the manure in the Biodigester is by now producing enough gas, so yesterday it was connected to the Ismail family kitchen for regular use.

In the meanwhile, we also received the encouraging news, that the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies decided to adopt Yair’s project, and will send its Palestinian, Israeli and International students to help Yair in the installation of more Bidigester units in Susiya and elsewhere in the south Mt. Hebron region.

Strengthening Those Who Belong to the Land: Mahmud from Susya, the Organic Farmer

Mahmud from Susya got up one day from his depression, and built a very basic green house. With simple tools and techniques he succeeded to surprise us with excellent organic vegetables.
The vegetables are an essential addition to the family’s poor diet, based mainly on dairy products from the herd which is their main source of making a living. And while both herding and growing grains is restricted by the settlers/army, green-housing is a brilliant solution for growing food which does not require much land.
One day Mahmud discovered a vegetable disease on the leaves of his tomatoes. We could not help with the disease, but by suggested to finance for him an agricultural course. When he returned from his two months’ course at al-Arroub College north of Hebron, he also built a beehive.
Then, he turned out to be also a guide for Ahmad, from another family in Susiya. He taught him and helped him to build his own green house.
Meanwhile, since this area is a draught area, both by nature and by the Occupation (the regime prevents direct water supply), we supported 4 families in building 4 wells.
Recently we joined the building the first prototype home Bio-Gas system. The system was built by Yair Teller from the Arava Institute with our financial support. This system, the first one of its kind to operate in the Middle East, turns animals’ feces into gas for cooking needs. The previous success of the solar and wind based electricity systems which we, with COMET-ME, first built in Susiya two years ago, has motivated us to build this first prototype in Susiya as well.
All the above are actual examples of our way of supporting – strengthening the strengtheners of each community, both personally and communally.
We offer many aspects of support; even when financial, it is always a result of personal contacts and long standing relationships. In addition to Susya, we also maintain contacts with other communities in the region of south mount Hebron  such as Umm Fakara, Umm al-Kheir, al-Tuwani, Tuba and others.
The financial support for all the initiatives described above (in Susiya), was kindly provided by a family from London. We, members of the Villages Group and Susyans, thank them sincerely.

Sometimes Dreams Do Come True: Children’s Music Center in Salem Opens

On the 10th of March 2010, after conducting entrance exams for more than 300 children from Salem (a Palestinian village near Nablus), and for the first time in the history of the village, 18 children have started their music studies, in the spirit of the vision presented in the proposal for this program.

Eleven girls and 7 boys gather three times a week, for 3 hours each time, in the rooms provided by the  local council in the council’s building.  Leading the program is Jubier Ishtayya from the village of Salem. The coordinator – Fadi – is from Salem as well. Jubier teaches traditional instruments- the Ud, and Tabla, as well as the organ. Another teacher, Amid from Nablus, teaches violin and guitar.  The children haven’t yet chosen their personal instruments. They are in the basic stage of learning how to connect the tunes, notes and instruments.

We, Ehud and Erella from the Villages Group, visited them on Friday, 2.4.10 during one of our regular visits to Salem. It felt that us from Israel, and kids, teachers, coordinator and parents in this Palestinian village, were all playing the same music on the same piano. A bit strange in the abnormal reality we all experience each day.

The initial budget, to set up the program and finance the first 6 months of activities, was generously donated by dear and sensitive people from Australia. We are already working on finding the financial resources to enable the program to continue.  Please forward this report to people you think might be interested to know about, and support this program.