Ahmad, a Palestinian farmer, lives in Al-Khader, a village just southwest of Bethlehem. Recently, he planted 300 new olive tree saplings on his family farm with the help of international volunteers, who provided some security so he could access his property without issues. The olive grove will provide income stability for his family and help to feed his community.
Because olives are a vital staple in Palestine, farms have been systemically destroyed over decades of Israeli military occupation in the conflicted region. This has had a devastating effect on the food supply and livelihoods of Palestinians. The land has been claimed and policed by the Israeli military since 1967, but farmers still attempt to cultivate their land. As farmers replant and begin to prosper, they can play an important role in rebuilding for the next generation.
“The presence of the international volunteers helped me to access my land and work in the field without being afraid,” Ahmad explained. “I hope these trees will grow up in peace so I can cultivate them and get a stable income for me and my family.”
The trees and volunteers were provided by our Mission and Service partners at the East Jerusalem YMCA with support from Gifts with Vision. Along with Ahmad’s family farm, there were two other farms in villages near Hebron that also recently received a significant gift of saplings from the program.
“Being on my land working and planting olive trees gave me a lot of hope for a better future,” Ahmad said. “It was also good for me and my family to share our story with these visitors who came to help us. We felt there are good people in the world who still care about others.”
This gift is currently available from Gifts with Vision.