Handicraft Cooperative Association – Bethlehem

The handicraft cooperative association is a non-profit organization based in Bethlehem, Palestine. It was established in 2010. It is made up of 14 female members, each is experienced in a specific handicraft industry. The idea was emerged from the desire and determination of the founders to intensify their efforts in order to benefit from their individual capacities within a cooperative framework. They can employ their skills, enhance their participation in the market, increase their products and improve their abilities to compete, which in turn results in the integration of their social and economic situation. The desire to establish the association has been enhanced due to the variety of handicrafts specialization these women are engaged in.

Our perspectives:

We aspire to reach the most marginalized women and empower them socially and economically in order to help themselves live dignified life. We also aim to develop their skills and strengthen their capacities to produce better products throughout practical training. Our main responsibility is to produce handmade products that reflect the Palestinian identity in both local and international levels.

Our objectives:

  1. To enable the members of the association, occupy a position in the market and promote their economic conditions by increasing quality products.
  2. To create job opportunities for women working in rural areas in order to activate their roles in the market and help enhance their social and economic activities.
  3. To develop training sessions for young women in various handicrafts fields to enable the acquire new abilities and skills, which promotes for a major prospective micro-entrepreneur.
  4. To expand the markets of the association on both levels locally and internationally to obtain sustainable market environment and thus new sources of income.
  5. To promote fair-trade principles among women and create equal opportunities and healthy working conditions.

Our products:

The products are designed and inspired from the Palestinian heritage and culture. Products are made by hand using traditional techniques and maintaining local artisanal designs and colors which reflect the beauty of their living areas. Products are unique and high in quality as being processed under the supervision of well experienced team. Our products include:

  1. Embroidery
    The work is diverse and handmade cross stitched using high-quality threads such as: tablecloths, handbags, shawls, jackets and vests, cushion covers, wall hangings, dresses, and miscellanies.
  1. Olive wood
    The olive wood products are hand carved from the trimming of the Bethlehem olive trees. Products include candles and dinning ware sets.
  1. Ceramic
    The ceramic products are formed using electric wheel, molds and hand building. The work is either carved or painted with non-toxic glazes. The products include jars, vases, plates, cups, candles, and Christmas ornaments.
  1. Silver jewelry
    The silvers jewelry is made from picked olive leaves which are casted and combined with beads and semi-precious stone to make them more fashionable. The products include pendants, earrings, rings, and bracelets.
  1. Olive oil soap
    The olive soap is made by hand using olive oil and salt as the basis. The mixture is cooked and then dried. Several types of olive soap are produced, such as pure olive soap, and soaps that contains essential oils and dried herbs.