Greening Camps (Hydroponic leafy Garden)

Adopting the agriculture in the urban area (women & youth) by creating a green open space, bring healthy food, creating greener environment

Photo of Ala Jafer
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Eligibility Criteria

  • I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Act for Biodiversity Challenge and that I am eligible to apply.
  • I am 18 years old or older.

Initiative's representative name

Ala' Jafer

Initiative's representative date of birth

6th of February / 1995

Initiative's representative gender

  • Woman

Headquarters location: country

  • Jordan

Headquarters location: city

Amman, focusing on Palestinian camps refugees that have overpopulation, lack of green space and poor families in (Wehdat camp)

Where are you making a difference?

SAME

Website or social media url(s)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Act.org.jo/?_rdc=2&_rdr Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/agro_act_company/

Date Started

06/2020

Project Stage

  • Start-up (first few activities have happened)

Yearly Budget : What is your current yearly budget for the initiative?

  • €10k - €50k

Organization Type

  • Nonprofit/NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

ACT team was inspired by the questions from women and fresh graduated engineers through training, which it was " Is it possible for me to build a small demo system in my house to produce this kind of lettuce?", therefore, we have provided hands-on training for targeted participants to fill in their questions and exchange and provide sufficient knowledge to build their system themselves. And now, our vision is to be effective and motivated to provide our expertise and skills to participate in helping the environment by growing more green plants, reducing carbon dioxide, increasing oxygen, disseminating and adopting new technology for agriculture to produce fresh products and inspiring poor families to sell products and tackle poverty.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

The decline in the biodiversity and the green area in Jordan against the increase in the random urban spread, which the decrease in green areas by 1 % of the total area in Jordan. These urban areas like camps considered as overpopulation in Jordan, which suffer from dilapidated housing, overcrowded, inadequate infrastructure and a lack of facilities, that threaten the quality of life available to refugees.

3. Your solution: How are you working to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Design, develop, build rooftop environmental friendly farming in Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan by engaging city residents in adopt hydroponic (Raft system), building green infrastructure by utilizing the un-use rooftop to a greeny area planted with fresh product, cultivating the rooftops as a shelter against the expensive living with poor conditions and helping the environment in reducing less CO2. Furthermore, the project helps in investing women's (housewives) energy in producing healthy food and getting income from selling the fresh products to their neighborhood, relatives and they may linkage with local markets, capacity building of managing the modern systems for the camp residents, Also, it gives an aesthetic view in these rooftops that provide relaxing and what's the most important point is the environmental impact from planting number of fresh products more than 150-200 plants in m2 (the number differs based on the design) that means more Oxygen produce.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

Our company specialized in building innovative hydroponics systems for a sustainable future by designed systems and irrigation networks with high efficiency, raise knowledge of modern agriculture practices through trainings, workshops and field days. Innovation hydroponic systems are perfect for a place like Wehdat camp because it requires no soil, it can grow anywhere with varied types of herb in a controlled environment, less water by 90% saving water and reused, environment is sterile, which means no pesticides and, at the same time, easy to manage, refugees have access to income-generating activities, the installation of hydroponics systems to give refugees enhanced access to modern agriculture trainings and livelihoods opportunities

5. Collaboration: How does your initiative seek to bring key players together to preserve biodiversity?

ACT team through many years implemented many projects about innovative hydroponic systems to save water and improve plant health with farmers, we built collaboration with embassies, many national and international organizations like UN , USAID..etc and Agricultural Engineer Association to train the fresh graduated engineers, Furthermore, ACT is directing the urban citizen especially the overcrowded cites camps in Amman. This project creates a necessary awareness of the poor conditions in the camp by working actively together with a community on topics of caring about the environment. Positively improving women’s and youth’s self-esteem by creating a green open space where they can develop themselves, building on a more sustainable way of living and creatively working together on a greener environment and a healthier diet are challenging but rewarding.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far — in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

One of the implemented projects and managed by ACT; The “Tameez” program, which aims to train union members looking for work and fresh graduates in various governorates in Jordan, in each training 3-4 of participates on average adopt the new modern. Another implemented project, support the establishment of a national sector skills council for the agriculture sector in Jordan; to train and build up the knowledge for 500 workers in the agricultural field to certifying them, the project funded by the ministry of foreign affairs (The Netherlands) and implemented by cooperation with ILO, ACT, and agriculture engineers association. This new project is still in the pre-progress stage, therefore, there isn't a clear influence but there are several women who took the training implemented the demo system of raft hydroponic system in their rooftop that producing different varieties of lettuce.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

Main strategy relies on social media, survey in camp and local event  Targeting Al-Wehdat Camps in Amman that is have the highest population of Palestinian refugees, low green areas which are poor condition and low income and having local market to ensure the sustainability of running the project.  Selecting 10 beneficiaries of poor families or 250 m2 of planted rooftops each house will be have different design based on the rooftop area  Establishing Hydroponic Raft-system for herbs production which is easy to run and use as a small business for housewives.  Training the residents on implementing the system and management.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for society? Or different stakeholders?

Transformation of traditional agriculture practices to modern agri-practices like hydroponic make the principle of shared value: in creating economic value after implementing and adopting the system by the residents in the camp will create value by linking with local markets. The practice of hydroponics in which enhance the competitive advantage and profitability from the project while simultaneously advancing social, environmental and economic conditions in the camp in which the residents will sell the fresh products for their neighborhood or nearby local markets in which they get monthly income and ensure the sustainability of business.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

The business model (Hydroponic systems) will build from winning the prize. In the short term, we are looking to ensure sustainability from selling fresh products, in the medium term we are taking the role and looking for investors and in the long term we want to be self-funded and distribute the idea.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your current team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

ACT is part of the Agricultural Engineer Association, We have a direct manager in charge of consultations and projects, Projects Coordinator, PiD , Trainer, M&E , Site engineers and volunteers. We are confident that our experiences, partnerships, and skills will make innovations, professionalism, and results through projects.

11. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media
  • Search engine

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