The delegation was greeted by the Governor of Jericho in Auja village. Following a presentation providing crucial insight into the plight of communities in rural Jericho, the group proceeded to the Jordan Valley EcoCenter – also in the village of Auja. The center was established to play a central role in advancing environmental education and awareness of the importance of the geology, flora, fauna, water resources and cultural heritage of Wadi Auja. The delegation was particularly enthused by the prominence of financial sustainability in the governance structure of the center. All profits from the resident guesthouse housed in the center are redeployed through local development projects designed and implemented by the Jordan Valley EcoCenter.
The NDC and AFD team then visited a Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) project in Marj Na’ja. Currently in the first phase of this poverty alleviation initiative, 10 greenhouses have been built in the villages of Marj Na’ja and Zbeidat; and a comprehensive training program for local farmers is on-going. In the second phase, a total of 35 greenhouses will be rehabilitated in these two villages. This project empowers local farmers to utilize their land and natural skills to ensure a more sustainable food supply, protection of Palestinian land and better standards of living for local families. The NDC and AFD delegation met with local farmers in Marj Na’ja to discuss successes and the challenges that continue to threaten livelihoods in the region. In harmony with the vision of NDC and PNGO IV, the principles of local empowerment, sustainability and local accountability are fundamental to the UAWC’s work.
NDC is honored to host the AFD delegation and confident that the progressive approach of development organizations epitomized by the activities in Auja and Marj Na’ja is reflective of the broader PNGO IV project. NDC is proud to manage this latest incarnation of the PNGO initiatives and look forward to further cooperation with the donors to ensure the success of the remainder of PNGO IV.