Helping Build Sustainable, Prosperous Communities Since 1915
Fall 2011
Palestine Update
Youth Helping Shape Solutions in Morocco
Building Hope and Opportunity in Sudan
Growing Businesses in Rural Armenia
Field Update 
Harvesting olives in Palestine
A recent USAID grant will help NEF reach over 2,000 people through a cross-border project to promote peace.  The initiative will foster economic cooperation and build partnerships between Palestinians and Israelis in all aspects of olive oil production, one of the region's oldest traditional industries.  Based on current trials, we expect impacts to include a 50% increase in olive production and a 75% improvement in olive oil quality.  Overall the project helps build relationships across the border among farmers, researchers and others in the industry - relationships based on trust, collaboration and mutual benefit. Learn more
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What an exciting time it is at the Near East Foundation! In a little over a year, we settled in to a new home (at Syracuse University) and launched an innovative program to build peace through economic cooperation (in creative and practical ways).

This is our first E-newsletter.  I hope that you enjoy reading about the many ways NEF is leading social and economic change in communities throughout the Middle East and Africa, where we impact thousands of lives every day.

Thank you for your support of NEF.  I look forward to sharing more good news with you soon.  Working together, we really make a difference!

Charlie Benjamin, President
P.S. - For the latest please visit our website and
Youth Helping Shape Solutions
in Morocco

An innovative USAID project is giving youth in Morocco the unprecedented opportunity to help their local governments address tough issues such as employment. NEF is leading implementation of the project's youth component, which promotes reconciliation and cooperation between youth and their local elected officials. Newly formed youth councils are helping to bridge this gap and to build a new generation of civic leaders. NEF has helped establish five youth councils, and more are under development throughout the country. The project's youth activities are among the first of their kind in Morocco and North Africa. Learn more

Building Hope and Opportunity in Sudan
In Sudan's war-torn South Kordofan State, NEF is one of the very few active international development organizations. Through the outbreak of fighting last summer, we maintained operations, helping internally displaced people reestablish their farms after they returned home. During 2011, we trained hundreds of former soldiers in conflict management and helped them set-up small businesses. NEF provides the tools they need to earn a living beyond war and to reintegrate as constructive members of their communities. Learn more
Growing Businesses in Rural Armenia 

Our economic development project is breaking the cycle of poverty and unemployment in Rural Armenia, where 1 in 4 is without a job.  NEF and its local partners have helped launch 35 businesses in information technology and agriculture. New computer centers are providing rural villagers with computer access and training, sales and service,and connectivity with the outside world through the Internet. Key to this effort is the creation of "micro-franchises," networks of enterprises with a common business model and branding. In the coming year, NEF will support the continued expansion of businesses in Rural Armenia and potentially use the successful model to generate economic growth in other countries. Learn more