Our Work

We work in direct partnership with 19 producer organizations across the occupied Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel. Through these partnerships, more than 2000 artisans are able to generate income and to develop their capacity as craft producers in the following areas.

Challenges abound for Palestinians, who face unemployment, poverty, widespread discrimination and human rights violations under the Israeli military occupation.  Particularly affected are women, whom in many cases have become the primary breadwinner in the family when the male members are unable to work because of the movement restriction, imprisonment, medical reasons and such.  Jerusalem, once the economic, social, and cultural center of Palestinian culture, has over the last decade become inaccessible to the residents of the rest of the Occupied Territories (West Bank and Gaza Strip), who are forbidden to enter Israel without an specially issued permit. This has dealt a devastating blow to the artisans who used to sell their products to the foreign tourists in Jerusalem.  Further, Palestinian minority living inside Israel suffer from wide ranging social and economic discrimination in the Jewish state. 

These circumstances make it difficult to market their products and generate profit.  This is where Sunbula comes in. 



Palestinian craft producers have to navigate the economic blockade and closures in order to procure raw materials like thread and fabric. Sunbula is able to use our resources as a fair trade organization to move supplies across checkpoints and the Separation Wall and to get around the blockade. 


While the foundations of the art form go back hundreds of years, Sunbula and our local partners help train the women to create a volume of products that will be well received by international buyers. We work with local designers who combine a sense of global trends and their appreciation for the traditional process to suggest approaches that fuse ancient and modern. Women, people with disabilities, and others we work with gain skills in running small businesses and cottage industries, along with refining their craftsmanship to make salable products.


Because of the blockade and the severe economic conditions most Palestinians are living with, access to the kind of equipment that helps improve efficiency would be impossible to access. Sunbula can help facilitate access to these tools, which then have long term benefits for artists and communities.



Our two fair trade stores in Jerusalem and the online shop are the economic lifeline for hunderds of artisans and their familiy members.   We work to ensure that the work of our partner craft producers is ecoomically viable and that the cultural heritage of Palestine is protected.