Stories of Peacemakers: Palestine
Grassroots International uses United Methodist Women Mission Giving funds for leadership and economic development of Palestinian women. According to their Giving Coordinator, "Food is one of the key weapons being used to subjugate the Palestinian people; heavily subsidized, imported food and food aid undermines Palestine's farming economy and creates food dependence." The project on Women's Empowerment and Food Sovereignty offers a different path for low-income Palestinian rural women. Locally controlled food projects, such as bee-keeping, poultry-raising and vegetable gardens produce healthy food and sustain both family and community livelihoods. Even more importantly, these food projects are now catalysts for a new generation of women leaders united in their common struggle.
One project participant shares, "I feel more confident now…much more informed, and I can talk about important farm and food issues that I had never heard about before…Now I know there are millions of women and farmers all over the world who are struggling for a decent life, not just me. Now I understand that I am not alone in this world and I have to support their struggles as much as I need their solidarity."
God of release from oppression, we stand with those who are being denied the opportunity to raise a family in peace and wholeness. We stand with those who confidently step out to feed their family, their community. We witness their struggles and give thanks to you, oh God, as we accompany their journey to wholeness.
Carol Van Gorp is the executive for international ministries, United Methodist Women.