LOCATION: Qarawat Bani Zeid Village, Ramallah Governorate
Qarawat Bani Zeid is a remote village in northern Ramallah governorate. Ms. Sahhar Arrar, a teacher and active community member, founded the Qarawat Bani Zeid Women Center to bring together the women of the village. Starting out with a few plastic chairs and old exercise equipment, the club quickly attracted the young, active women of Qarawat Bani Zeid. A 2009 Community Leadership Empowerment Program award to furnish a meeting space and equip a computer lab enabled the women of Qarawat Bani Zeid to organize and learn to use computers. At this point the center began reacting to demands of its members without taking a clear, proactive approach. The Community Leadership Empowerment Program strategic planning process brought 8 young women to the table, center leaders and members, who together envisioned a future and identified the community’s needs. After much consultation they aligned on next steps: set up a kitchen and create a kitchen production process that would enable the women over time to seek economic independence. The resulting strategic plan coupled with its new kitchen and computer lab has given Qarawat Bani Zeid the means to sustain itself and serve its constituents.