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Arab Women Launch First-Ever Environmental Program

NIF grantee Kayan (Being): The Feminist Organization for Women in Arab Society has launched the first-ever environmental awareness program for women in Israel's Arab sector.

Seventeen women in the Galilee village of Maghar have been trained to lecture on ecology, the benefits of recycling and how to reduce pollution. The women have been touring the village's schools to teach the students about environmentalism.   The program has given them a rare opportunity to have their voices heard in public. Kayan also arranged a special day at the beginning of March for all the village's children to clean up Maghar. The initiative was led by the 17 women as part of the "Women for the Environment" program.

"Our principal aim is the empowerment of women by placing women in positions of authority outside of the home,” explained Rula Deeb, Director of Kayan. "We chose the subject of the environment because it is a consensus issue and neglected topic."

Children in Maghar plant a tree in their schoolyard
as part of Kayan's environmental awareness program.

The women received training from the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), which is supported by NIF through the Green Environment Fund.  Kayan hopes to initiate similar programs in additional Arab villages in the Galilee.

There is a noticeable flourishing of environmental awareness programs in Israel in recent months. This is especially evident in the amount of media coverage on the topic and in part is the result of many years of intensive work and public endeavors by activists in NIF-supported organizations. This enhanced awareness emphasizes topics like global warming, recycling, preservation and reducing pollution, in the context of a small country that desperately needs to conserve scarce natural resources, including water and undeveloped land. 



$250 million to Israeli social change groups since 1979.