Project Palestine works in collaboration with the Palestine Fair Trade Association (PFTA) to raise awareness and funds for fair trade olive farmers in Palestine. The PFTA is a non-profit farmer collective in Palestine, standing as the largest fair trade producers’ union in Palestine, with over 1700 small Palestinian farmers joined as fair trade collectives and cooperatives across the country. What do olive trees mean to Palestinian farmers? Olives are their livelihood, their source of sustenance and the way they root themselves, historically and spiritually, to the land. But Palestinians are denied access to nearly 30 percent of their olive trees in the West Bank as they struggle to live under Israeli military occupation.
To launch Project Palestine in 2012, six Americans set out to run 129 miles in five days during the Run Across Palestine (RAP), to raise funds and awareness for fair trade olive farmers of Palestine. Joining the organizations and runners was a media team comprised of a filmmaker, two journalists and a musical ambassador which resulted in the creation of the documentary, The People and The Olive, and album, A Miracle of Birds.
The People & The Olive – The Story of The Run Across Palestine
TREES FOR LIFE
Trees for Life is a program that gives thousands of olive trees to farmers starting out, as well as smaller farmers and those whose trees or lands have been destroyed by Israeli forces. Priority for the trees goes to small farmers, young farmers, women interested in farming and farmers who have lost trees to the occupation. The Trees for Life project is solely funded by grassroots movements abroad and solely invested in the Palestinian fair trade movement in Palestine. Trees for Life started in 2005 and is administered by the Palestine Fair Trade Association, planting thousands of olive trees in Palestine every year, in total the project has planted over 78,000 trees (78,259 to be exact)! PURCHASE YOUR TREES FOR LIFE SHARE
MICRO-LOANS FOR WOMEN
The micro-loan project has enabled 200 women with little or no resources to become producers and benefit from fair trade returns, in addition to gaining collective membership and representation for their cooperative in the PFTA. The micro-loan project, administered by Palestine Fair Trade Association extends two-year loans to individuals who otherwise would not have the means to start a business. DONATE TO MICRO-LOANS FOR WOMEN OF PALESTINE
Your donations for Project Palestine will support fair trade olive farmers of Palestine. Empowering Palestinian rural communities caught in conflict so they can sustain their livelihoods and culture.
50% of proceeds from A Miracle of Birds support Project Palestine. Joshua Davis traveled as a cultural emissary during the Run Across Palestine in February of 2012. Joshua conveys, “The stories and songs on the album, released one year after the run, are honest expressions of my experiences in the West Bank, colored by my own unique history and upbringing.” The songs are deeply personal and deal with his struggle between his Jewish identity and the oppression and confusion he found in the Middle East. PURCHASE NOW $15
50% of proceeds from The People And The Olive support Project Palestine. Stone Hut Studios (Aaron Dennis) and journalist Jacob Wheeler traveled with the Run Across Palestine to create the documentary The People and The Olive, an inspiring documentary about the daily joys and struggles of Palestinian fair trade farmers and the American ultra-marathoners who ran across the West Bank planting olive trees and bridging cultures along the way. PURCHASE NOW $25
Project Palestine Impact
Run Across Palestine (2012)
- Funded the planting of 1000+ olive trees, 500 in each community visited by runners
MicroLoans for Women (2013)
- Construction of the Deir Ballout Women’s Center used to process za’atar, soap, and olive oil
On The Ground partnered with the Palestinian Fair Trade Association during Run Across Palestine in February 2012. The event and subsequent fundraising continues to support and raise awareness for fair trade olive farmers of Palestine.
- Palestine Fair Trade Association (PFTA) is the largest fair trade producers’ union in Palestine, with over 1700 small Palestinian farmers joined in fair trade collectives and cooperatives across the country. Collectively, their farmers produce the traditional olive oil and food delicacies from Palestine, and sell them internationally to buyers and markets not available to an individual farmer. Fair trade means social and economic empowerment – a dignified living for farmers who have not had access to the outside world for over 40 years. PFTA revitalizes farming traditions and a culture of sustainability by linking the traditionally organic farming methods of Palestine to modern organic/ecological movements and markets. The farming communities benefit from the living wages paid to farmers and producers, the fair trade reinvestment in the community through the payment of social premiums to cooperatives above the price, and the cooperatives and collectives that are established along the production process serve as vital community organizations that can address other issues of common interest.