Bedouin Women’s Medicinal Plants Project

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Sun, 05/29/2016 - 07:00

 On 29 May, the thirteen women from the nursery and medicinal plants projects in Northern Badia participated in an educational visit to Amman. The two projects are being implemented through cooperation with the United States Forestry Service (USFS) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Medicinal Plants Project is funded by USAID through a grant from USAID Civic Initiatives Support Program implemented by FHI 360, while the Community Nursery Project is funded by USFS. Together these projects have employed, and are facilitating the training of, thirteen women in the planting, harvesting, and selling processes of plants and medicinal herbs. This excursion, designed to expose the women to new planting and irrigation techniques while protecting Bedouin cultural heritage, also succeeded in strengthening their team skills and the encouraging cooperative spirit of the women’s group.

 After arriving in Amman, the group visited two well-established nurseries, Yasamin Landscaping and Garden Center and Allaxa Nursery. In touring both facilities the group learned about different soil preparation and water conservation techniques. They were able to see how their methods differed from those of other nurseries and discuss the pros and cons. Specifically, the Hashemite Fund has taken great care in selecting durable and environmentally-friendly equipment, and the benefits from these choices were highlighted by the visits.

 Following a celebratory lunch to honour the hard work of the project participants, the women’s group attended a lecture on women’s rights in business and Islam. This lecture was donated by the School for International Training, and built upon the business management trainings that the women are participating in as a part of the project. This combination of practical skills learning paired with theological backing will help these women to establish and justify independent businesses and take advantage of economic opportunities, helping them to become empowered and active members of their communities.