Creating an alternative model to big business through traditional produce - new post on the ESD Prize Blog from Jordan

A new post has just been published on the ESD Prize Blog by Lama Khathieb, Co-Founder of Zikra for Popular Learning (Jordan), which won the UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) 2017:

"Jameed, a dried goat yoghurt made by farmers in rural Jordan villages, has been used in traditional cuisine for decades. So when huge, cheap and poor quality industrial imports of jameed flooded the market, the Zikra team, working to promote sustainable local culture, decided to do something about it.

Zikra works to use traditional culture in response to social, economic and environmental challenges. Since the beginning of the year it has been active in a village in Al-Karak (rural area 175 Km south of Jordan’s capital Amman) known for its distinctive Jameed.

For decades, families in rural areas in Jordan worked closely with local shepherds to make their own household supply of jameed. However, massive scale imports of the distinctive yoghurt from Turkey and Syria, have threatened this traditional product and the livelihoods of those who make it.

So, in early 2018 Zikra established The Jameed School aiming for localized economic change and resisting a consumer-based culture that drives people further from their local resources and identity.

The project has three dimensions, firstly it provides workshops for urban and rural community members on how to produce jameed and its related products such as white cheese and butter; how to identify the best milk to use and how to grow and use the herbs that flavour the products.

Secondly, it provides high quality, locally-made products for the Jordanian market. And finally, as an added element of Education for Sustainable Development, it spread knowledge about the importance of preserving local culture by organizing trips for school students where they learn about how to make jameed and meet the local families in Karak who produce it. The project, although in its early stages, already provides income for three to four families."

Read the full blog