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Empowering women in Gaza by working with them to create a micro business that will market their embroidery, knitting and crocheting artistry
Greta Berlin
Los Angeles, California
United States
3 Team Members

“Give a woman a fish, and you feed her family for a day.

Teach a woman to run her own business, and she feeds her family for a lifetime.”

Announcing the launch of the “Freedom Stitchers” project to create self-sufficiency for marginalized and jobless women in Gaza.

The “Freedom Stitchers” project begins in Gaza, in late autumn 2013


“Freedom Stitchers” will be a sustainable project run by women in Gaza. This micro-business is based on the idea that Palestinian women possess their own unique artistic and design skills, but they need a process to sell their finished products to the world, (with a little help from their friends at “Freedom Stitchers.”) They have the right to set up businesses, but are prevented in selling their artistry by the illegal blockade on their borders. 

We therefore intend to help set up this business for women in Gaza to market not only their exquisite embroidery, but to also enhance their artistic skills by teaching them how to knit, crochet, do silk ribbon embroidery, beadwork, felting, and other types of hand stitching for textile art which can then be sold.

The three of us organizers, Sinead MacLochlainn, Mary Hughes Thompson and Greta Berlin are long-time activists for justice in Palestine. You can read more about us on our bio page and on the website at www.freedomstitchers.org 


“Freedom Stitchers” will work to set up a trade route to import supplies and then export the finished products made by these women. This idea has worked in other countries, but because Gaza is occupied and blockaded, no one has ever tried to import yarn, needles and material and export the finished goods. “Freedom Stitchers” aims to change this by creating a Trade-not-Aid project. Donating to this project provides the raw materials for the art work, something that is very difficult for the women of Gaza to receive. Your donation will help us set up a micro-business and will enable the project to be video-taped and perhaps even live streamed. 

Your donations will help to enable these women to ‘Stitch for Freedom." Payments can be accepted by clicking on the CONTRIBUTE button that Indiegogo has set up for us. For more info or if you want to send us a check instead, contact us at donate@freedomstitchers.org or freedomstitchers@gmail.com 

or visit us at www.freedomstitchers.org 


The “Freedom Stitchers” group intends to videotape parts of our initial three-week project, as we set up and run workshops with various women’s groups. You will have the opportunity to meet via video, some of the women and women’s groups in Gaza who hope to benefit from the “Freedom Stitchers” empowerment project, hear their personal stories and get to know them. You can share in our workshops as the women progress towards self-sufficiency via their work, as we see them progress from raw materials to finished projects ready for export.


Seven years ago, we were told we would never be able to sail boats into Gaza. Of the five co-founders of the Free Gaza movement, four were women, Mary Hughes Thompson and Greta Berlin being the major organizers from the beginning. We proved the naysayers wrong, and we did set sail for Gaza. We believe in the power of women, we believe we can help to empower our sisters in Gaza to be more self-sufficient and generate a small income if we share our knowledge, abilities and skills, if we reach out and join our hands, and stitch for Freedom!

We know women can make a difference. We have done it already. We have sailed boats into Gaza. We have taken delegations into Gaza. We have organized and nagged and prodded and pulled dignitaries, members of civil society and journalists to come to Gaza and see what is happening. It’s not enough. The next step is to begin to empower, and who better than women to take up that task?

We want to raise $25,000 USD (£16,400) as start-up money for this project. The money will be spent as follows:

  1. Implementing the project for up to 5 women’s groups in Gaza
  2. Purchasing all supplies for project implementation for up to 5 women’s groups. e.g. yarn, embroidery ribbon,  embroidery threads, all sewing supplies, knitting needles and crochet hooks.
  3. Funding to cover the project, including shipping items to and from Gaza, duty fees and transfer fees and miscellaneous government fees.
  4. Shipping in five containers of yarn and needles, plus embroidery thread and other supplies, since many women cannot continue to embroider the beautiful Palestinian patterns for lack of raw materials. Embroidery thread is often not allowed into Gaza.
  5. Paying a Palestinian videographer from inside Gaza (hopefully a woman) and an editing suite to produce a documentary of the project from beginning to end.
  6. Website implementation, internet hosting for the sales site, design of logo and other creative work by Palestinians as needed.

Teach one …Make one…Market to the World  

Together we CAN make a difference in the lives of our Palestinian sisters, but we need your support and your donations to make it happen. Join with us. You will be part of a small business. You will be able to contribute in creating work for women in Gaza who might never have had the chance for any income.  So we ask all women and men around the world to support us, to follow us, to encourage us. To contribute to our project of breaking the siege, one woman at a time, through empowerment as we reach out our hands to our sisters in Gaza.




Find This Campaign On
raised by 60 people in 2 months
19% funded
No time left
$25,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on August 31, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $25USD
    A Palestinian flag

    Donating $25 or more, we will send you a 3' by 5' Palestinian flag to use during demonstrations or for just decorative purposes.

    6 out of 100 claimed
  • $50USD
    Freedom Sailors Book

    Receive an autographed copy of our book, Freedom Sailors, the story about the first voyage to Gaza in August 2008 and how we succeeded in breaking Israel's illegal siege on Gaza in spite of ourselves. Great adventure story, complete with danger, joy and sorrow. Won't be able to put it down

    2 out of 100 claimed
  • $75USD
    T-shirt or a cap

    Join us as we travel to Gaza by wearing our Freedom Stitchers T-shirt or cap, then send in a photo of you or your group to us. We will post on our website. You'll be able to watch our teaching sessions live from Gaza and cheer the women on as they design a marketing plan. If you would like a T-shirt and a cap, donate $100.

    4 out of 100 claimed
  • $200USD
    Mary's knitted Palestinian hat

    Many of you have asked for the beautiful Palestinian hats that Mary knits. She has just offered to design and hand-knit ten of them for a $200.00 donation. You won't be disappointed. They are wonderful, soft, and perfect for demonstrations or just walking in the snow

    2 out of 10 claimed
  • $500USD
    Palestinian Embroidery

    Palestinian embroidery for donations between $500 and $1000. There will be a wide range of choices, from embroidered pillows to beautiful shawls. Some of the designs will be shown as the women design and stitch them. Be the first to order your perk from the micro-business.

    0 out of 20 claimed
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