Unesco Green Citizens

Zikra for Popular Learning

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Project begin: 04/04/2007

Lama Khatieb and Rabee Zureikat created Zikra for Popular Learning in order to rebuild people’s relationship with their identity and culture, by cultivating local knowledge in their communities and enabling them to inspire sustainable solutions.

Zikra for Popular Learning rebuilds people’s relationship with their identity and culture, through the cultivation of their community’s local knowledge and enabling them to inspire sustainable solutions to stressing social, economic & environmental challenges. Zikra reclaims knowledge of managing land and water resources that enabled communities in the region to live a sustainable life for thousands of years and bring it back to ensure that local communities of today do not forget their ancestral knowledge and practices.

Leading organisation: Zikra for Popular Learning
Covered Countries: Jordan
Theme: Biodiversity, Education for Sustainable Development, Indigenous and Local Knowledge
Sub-themes: Agriculture, Climate change, Environment, Environment, Food and food security, Gender equality and women's empowerment, Knowledge sharing, Knowledge sharing, Natural resource management, Natural resource management, Poverty and inequality reduction, Poverty and inequality reduction, Resources management, Sustainable lifestyles, Sustainable lifestyles, Sustainable living
Selection: 2020
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Initial Problem

Small wheat farmers are not encouraged to grow wheat as it’s not financially feasible, yet Jordan produces less than 7% of its use of wheat making it an important main crop.

Zikra harnesses the community’s local knowledge to inspire sustainable solutions to some of its most difficult social, economic and environmental challenges, in order to progress towards more egalitarian, inclusive societies. Zikra also conducts capacity-building workshops and training in educational institutions to empower youth, educators and community members to become change agents for sustainable development.

The positive impacts that the project has made:

Zikra is currently linking small wheat farmers to a better market among restaurants and bakeries.

They also created the Story of food experience, a tourism programme that engages urban community and tourists with food producers where they learn the history of food in the region and its social and cultural connotations, this project serves as a parallel economic channel to produce income for small farmers.

The impacted areas and population:

The project started in the small village of Ghor Al Mazra in Jordan and utilizes the community’s local knowledge to inspire sustainable solutions to some of its most difficult social, economic and environmental challenges, in order to progress towards more egalitarian, inclusive societies.

Today, four areas in Jordan are able to enjoy the positive impact of the program: Amman, Al-Karak, Al-Salt and Irbid. These regions now understand the importance of not forsaking local and ancestral knowledge.

The obstacles and challenges

A main challenge for the project is ethical funding, for this reason, Zikra relies on creating programmes that are self-funded and produce its own income, for example, each tourism trip generates approximately USD 700, this amount covers the costs and provides income for the families and a percentage goes to cover the running costs.

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