Activists from all over the country met in Tamra, a Palestinian city in northern Israel on Tuesday, March 7th. In honor of International Women’s Day, the conference was a celebration of some of the amazing successes of the women from our communities around the country.
Hani, a representative of the new steering committee in Kiryat Yovel, Jerusalem, presented the successful efforts of their steering committee as well as her productive meeting with the Jerusalem municipality to discuss the needs of the neighborhoods. This is not an easy task especially in such a large city and Zahava, a more veteran activist from Tel Aviv reminded her that she can have even more impact if she goes with a group of women to the next meeting. Shoshi, a veteran activist from Kiryat Yovel presented the research paper she wrote as part of her bachelor’s degree on the impact of Mahapach-Taghir. Shoshi completed this degree as part of the “Second Opportunity” program that she organized with other Mahapach activists.
An activist from Yafat El’Nassera activist spoke about their “community bank”, a system they have instituted to provide women on the steering committee with a measure of economic independence. Each woman brings 20 shekels to every weekly meeting, and at the end of the month one woman gets to keep the collected money for her own discretionary fund. The success of this collective initiative created a strong impression on all those present at the conference.
The women of Yafat El’Nassera further demonstrated their work by teaching a lesson on basket weaving, an art they have been studying and perfecting as a group for several weeks. They hope to begin selling these baskets soon. Women from all of the communities and their children joined together, weaving reeds under the guidance of Yafat El’Nasera’s steering committee. By the end of the evening attendees had the beginnings of a hand-woven basket and a the impression of amazing work being done in our Mahapach-Taghir communities. The evening was a reminder to everyone present that the activism of women in Mahapach-Taghir is helping to create the radical change that we envision for our world.