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"Saving the dream"

Bringing peace and prosperity to Gaza Strip through Green Entrepreneurship. Developing businesses, sustainability, and creating jobs.

Photo of Wijdan Alsharif
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

According to the Israeli information center for human rights in the occupied territories "B'Tselem", "the Gaza Strip is a scene of a humanitarian disaster that has nothing to do with natural causes; it is entirely human-made, a direct result of official Israeli policy".
Gaza is a densely populated strip with about 3245 people/km2 according to the statistics of 2017. It has unemployment rate of %41.
When loosing your dream, death becomes a passion...
Starting March 30, 2018, and for marking the “land day” and the right of return for Palestinians who were displaced from their land in 1948 and in 1967, six demonstrations were planned to take place and named “The Great Return March”. Since then, 132 Palestinians were killed and over 13300 were injured.
During this bloody phase, Palestinians , especially youth, where eager to go by the boarders, get shot, and die even if no achievement in return.
Taking a deep look at the whole situation in Gaza; Israeli siege, Hamas controlling over people, unemployment & poorness, very bad environmental conditions, undrinkable polluted water, then it will be easy to define the case, People in Gaza are loosing their dreams. they have nothing else to loose.
In this project, we will be targeting green entrepreneurs with ideas that have potential to hire people, will provide them with the required training, environmental essentials, EIA, financials, legal essentials, project management, and marketing. they will get the chance to meet with donors and investors, and will have a chance to be supported financially through this project to start their businesses.
if we do so, we will be able to achieve the following:
1- Create new "green" jobs
2- Contribute to saving the environment
3- Diverting the personal energy of green entrepreneurs towards productive achievements in "making their dreams come true" and achieving internal peace which will, eventually, be reflected on families and the surrounding communities.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our Beneficiaries will be Green Entrepreneurs who fit in the following criterion:
1- Have a green initiative that can be developed into a business model. However, special social initiative can be supported if has a unique idea to promoting peace and happiness within the community.
2- Can hire or, at least, have the plan to hire 3-5 employees and workers during the first and second years of starting the work.
3- Although age is open, attention will be paid to younger generations (ages 22-35)
4- The project will target good ideas regardless of gender. However, if two projects are competing in the same level, women will have a preference..
5- Finally, we will try to target "safe" areas for the projects. that is not under fire. this shall contribute to saving the investments.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Green initiatives are not having enough chances of being supported especially in Gaza strip for many different reasons:
1- People's awareness regarding green initiatives is very limited to some group of people.
2- Investors would prefer to put their money in more conventional businesses that guarantees the return on investment.
3- Gaza is a highly vulnerable area with almost continuous conflict with Israeli forces from one side, and the control of Hamas a strict Islamic party from the other side.
4- Although highly polluted, it is not always possible to solve the environmental problems since siege and politics (Israel & Hamas) will govern material coming in to Gaza strip and leaving it;
Recently, few organizations like the SwitchMED are trying to support environmental entrepreneurs in the West bank.
Accordingly, our project will be unique as we insist to support people and ideas in Gaza strip, bringing sustainability and development, in addition to supporting in saving dreams.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Center for Environment - Palestine (CEP); Is a not for profit organization that aims to empower the Palestinian community to engage in environmental-friendly approaches.
http://cep.ps/en/node/6
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkOQ2TXXUJlLjEsDgfOBb

Palestine Green Building Council (PalGBC):
Is a not for profit organizations that aim build capacities, promote for & support designing, constructing, and operating sustainable & environmental-friendly buildings.
http://www.palgbc.org

Expertise in sector

  • 5-7 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

As we were participating in a study about green entrepreneurship, we had the chance to speak to many Green Entrepreneurs from Gaza, they were developing ideas and trying to seek funding. unfortunately, investors would not put their money in a place with high uncertainty like Gaza. some ideas of green entrepreneurship were:
1- Using Nano-technology in water and medical sectors
2- Designing home composers
3- Converting Plastic to Fuel
4- Hyrdo-farms
5- producing water from humidity

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

In Gaza Strip, Environment is highly affected by all kinds of pollution;
1- Soil lacks the fresh water since fresh water is not enough for people to drink. soil was also affected by white phosphorus that was thrown during war times. this is highly affected agriculture.
2- The waste water treatment plant is facing problems with electricity supply, accordingly, raw waste water is being dumped in sea water.
3- Due to over-pumping the aquifers, drinking water is polluted with sea water and sewage.
4- Construction waste is everywhere due to continuous Israeli attacks.
According to a report by the WB that was published March 2018; Gaza has seen conditions steadily deteriorate over the last two decades, leading to collapsing of the economy and basic social service.
Peace is also affected by the imposed siege, unemployment, Hamas' control inside Gaza, and Israeli attacks. People are feeling hopeless, they have nothing to loose and they prefer to choose the heaven over the life in Gaza..

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

CEP will be working closely with Palestine Green Building Council (PalGBC) and Pal-professionals Consulting firm:
CEP, located in Ramallah City, is the key applicant. CEP will manage required communication with ministerial bodies, will hire a coordinator in Gaza strip, will do the required media designs, will reserve venues for training, manage disbursements, and will handle the announcement and updates of the project. CEP will also analyze the applications and arrange for meetings with finalist applicants, will also do continuous audit and reporting.
PalGBC will participate in analyzing applications and choosing finalists, will organize some workshops and will review training material with environmental content. it will also coordinate activities with key trainers.
Paraprofessionals Consulting firm will be mainly responsible for preparing the material and implementing courses related to business development (mainly financials & feasibility studies, legal essentials, and marketing

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Gaza community strengths:
1- Gaza people are well educated.
2- The highly polluted area of Gaza allows for hundred of opportunities for green initiatives (air pollution, soil pollution, water pollution, in addition to the construction waste after massive destruction).
3- The 41% unemployment rate means that there are thousands of working hours being wasted in unuseful /violent actions . but this can also mean that thousands of entrepreneurs will be participating and committed to this project

Geographic Focus

This Project is designed specifically for Gaza Strip - Palestine / The middle east

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

This project is designed to be implemented in 36 months. in each year, we will work with a new group of entrepreneurs.
Estimated 20 yearly initiative will be supported. Courses will be repeated, start-ups will be supported, and new jobs will be created.
Two networking events will take place per year
A yearly evaluation and financial Audit will be done, and a graduation ceremony will take place for our Alumni on yearly basis.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

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