The Syrian Initiative Craftsmanship Ecovillage



SEK 3,176


SEK 2,000,000

Days left for funding goal : -415


SEK 3,120

Total Contributors : 22

Total Contributions : 0%


SEK 56

Total Lenders : 3

Total Lent : 0%

About Project

SICE is an NGO driven by a group of Syrian refugees in Sweden, with the goal to achieve a fully functioning ecovillage with job opportunities to its residents

The Syrian Initiative Craftsmanship Ecovillage (SICE) is a newly formed NGO (April 1st 2015) driven by a group of Syrian refugees and Swedes in Uppsala, Sweden. Our aim is to empower migrants and other Syrians to take control of their own lives, integrate into Swedish society, and do so in an inexpensive and ecologically sustainable way. We also find different ways to job possibilities for our residents in our Ecovillage.


The idea of craft as a sustainable and healthy way to supply for residents in an ”eco-village” has been there from the beginning in the SICE. A sound forest management creates many different type of jobs, from tree to product. SICE has already prepared a Training in the crafts of renovating log houses with SICE:s partner Pär Ivarsson as a teacher. 

We ask for your help to start a new type of society which is independent of social assistance and can create many new jobs by the fantastic renewable natural resource – the forest.

Sweden, with its vast uninhabited forested areas, offers a wide range of opportunities for ecovillages that can among other things create products from selected logged trees.

Presently we are initiating carpenter courses in renovating log houses with Pär Ivarsson.

We are asking for financial help to initiate a new form of society that eventually will be self-supporting, independent of any grants or contributions from either public or private sector.

About Us

The Syrian Initiative Craftsmanship Ecovillage (SICE) is a newly formed NGO (April 1st 2015) driven by a group of Syrian refugees and Swedes in Uppsala, Sweden. Our aim is to empower migrants, Swedes and other Syrians to take control of their own lives, integrate into Swedish society, and do so in an inexpensive and ecologically sustainable way.



Fayez Karimeh                    Michael Bergman                 Magdalena Hydman           Willy Palm                            

SICE President                 Planning and design adviser    Coordinator                    Vice president                         


Ehsan Alkhatib


Kick-off for Syrian Ecovillage in Avesta

One by one the cars arrive at the old, decayed brick barn, in the middle of a vast field outside Avesta in southern Dalarna. The place lies deserted, but this windy Sunday in May marks the beginning of something completely new: a Syrian craftmanship- and ecovillage, combining housing, jobs and integration for families fleeing from the war in Syria.

The car doors open and the barnyard is soon filled with fathers, mothers, teenagers and smaller children – some of them already acquainted, some greet each other for the first time. A total of 30 people have made their way to this unusual event, some from refugee camps close by, others driving from towns one or two hours away.


L->R Ehsan, abdullah, Petter, Fayez  Nadia & Ammar              Michael, Fayez, ingrid, Robert            Linda and Sabah     

The guests explore the site curiously. The ruin of a cement silo rises between two brick buildings in clear need of repair. No farming has been done here for decades. But shortly there will be planting of apple trees, ecological clay houses will be built and the settlers will be trained in useful craftsmanship and maintenance techniques, leading to proper jobs and cheap housing, according to the plan.

– I am very eager to get started, this is a highly interesting project, says Ammar Hokan, engineer from Aleppo, who back in Syria ran a successful trading business, importing construction materials on a large scale.

Now he is looking forward to a role as technical adviser to the planned ecovillage.

Since the beginning of last year a group of Syrian engineers, architects and economists, strongly supported by Swedish eco-activists, are working resolutely to make the vision come true.

The Syrian Initiative Craftsmanship Ecovillage (SICE) is the name of the organization that was formed last april, and which now is on the verge of signing a lease contract for the land with the municipality of Avesta.

During the past year the group members have studied ecological building techniques, explored a number of alternative sites and visited other ecovillages in Sweden.

– We want to show that Syrians can contribute with new and sustainable models for the integration of refugees and take responsibility for our own livelihood, says Fayez Karimeh, water engineer from Syria and founder of the project.

On a table in the farm yard Olle Ridelius from the Swedish Society of Pomology (the art of growing apples) has displayed bunches of apple twigs, that are to be grafted onto larger stems and thereafter planted.

– The planting will be the symbolic start of our ecovillage, even if we for now have to do it in buckets since we don’t yet have access to the land, Fayez explains.

After a short lesson led by Olle, the children and grownups begin to try their skills, cutting the twigs at the correct angle and fastening them in a slit on the larger apple stems.

– I have always liked to pick fruit, we used to have a nice garden at our summer house outside Aleppo. But others took care of the trees so this is new for us, says Nadia Airoud who is here with her husband Ammar and their children Hamza and Obada.

Nadia, who is a construction- and environmental engineer, most of all wants to resume her master studies at a Swedish university. After a year and ten months in Sweden she speaks Swedish quite well, slowly but almost without errors.

– We passed all the SFI-levels in three months. Now we are studying highschool-courses  in Swedish online through the computer, says Ammar Hokan.

His plan is to start up a business for construction- and decorating materials, like the one he had to abandon i Syria, but he realizes that this can take some time.

– So we will be following three different paths simultaneously: studying, starting a business and working with the Ecovillage. You have to be an optimist, says Ammar.

After the planting of apples, food is brought out onto the long tables in large pans and bowls. Several of the families have helped to cook and bake Syrian specialities. Soon the yard is turned into a very idyllic picnic outing, although a bit chilly in the windy weather. Some of the teenage boys bring out a football, while the younger children play in the grass.

The program concludes with a short lecture by some of the SICE board members, telling about the plans.

– The plan is that Syrian architects and building engineers will work together with Swedish colleagues to draft the houses. In this way they will learn professional Swedish language and Swedish building legislation, skills that will make it easier for then to get other jobs in Sweden, explains Michael Bergman, landscape architect and strongly involved in the project.

Two representatives from Suderbyn – an ecovillage in the island of Gotland – presents a picture of the daily life in an ecological cooperative:

– We own the land together, cook together and own the cars together in a car pool. Every week we have meetings where we take democratic decisions on which repair works and other chores that need to be done, says Ingrid Gustafson from Suderbyn.

Finally, Linda Kurdi, highschool headmaster from Damascus, dressed in a brocade kaftan and pink head scarf, holds a solemn adress:

– It is very important for all of us who have come here to Sweden that we can integrate, learn the language and understand the traditions and customs of the new country. We are a simple, hard working people and we don’t want to be a burden to the country. That is why we are starting this project, she says, applauded by the rest of the group.

Then tables and chairs are packed into an old van and the families return home

– We have reached very far now. Next we have to succeed in raising enough money. I am very optimistic, we even have a chance of attracting investors from abroad, says Fayez Karimeh.


A message from Linda Kurdi

Hello everyone,                                                                                       

First of all, I would like to thank the Swedish people for hosting us and welcoming us in your country.

Your kindness and niceness are highly appreciated. We are here today to talk about our project; Ecovillage. My coworkers spoke about it earlier, I would like to discuss another point, which is to integrate our people with the Swedish society. For this to be done we have to learn the language first as it’s the main tool of communication. The other thing is to familiarize ourselves to the customs and habits of the Swedish people, we want to fit into your society with ease and harmony.

Each individual has their own way of thinking and living that’s why it is important that we get along to further this community and hopefully achieve a better tomorrow.

We are simple folks. We love life and we are social by nature, we are known for our hospitality and tolerance and kindness to other people regardless of their race, sex, religion or nationality. We are hardworking people and we don’t like to slack that’s why we started this project. we were forced to leave our home because of war and injustice and we hope to find a peaceful home in your country.

On a final thought, I wish success for everyone involved in this project.

Thank you very much.

Agriculture Engineer, Hossam Mohammad Hakkouk comments on Sice Concept

Human adopted the organic agriculture at past to produce food needs . And the Syrian human  excelled at it for many reasons and he still aspire to exercise this activity

within the  environmental villages projects , which we look forward to do it in this ecovillage. The Organic agriculture is the art of dealing with nature not against it  and the Product food with high nutritional value , sufficient quantities , maintaining soil ,fertility and avoid all forms of pollution to as little as possible for the non-use of chemical fertilizers and reliance on animal dung and residues of human after separated  it's components to the liquid which is rich with organic food , and use the steel as a compostage , provision of appropriate  life for those working in the field of production and processing of the food for their own needs and their access to adequate return , while ensuring a safe environment  by working to open markets for food crops produced the desired consumer period , it is one of the basic organic agriculture objectives , addition to the benefits such as development sustainable , reduce pollution of surface,  ground water , reduce to the risks to public health and covering the needs for animal productions .This is achieved by organic agriculture has ever known - IFOAM (ecological agriculture system is an economic  social dimensions , aims to produce clean food with safe ways , taking into consideration the natural ecological balance , without prejudice at the ecosystem ..)


Help make it happen for the team! Fund The Syrian Initiative Craftsmanship Ecovillage.
  • Hi Transitioners, Campaigners, Community Organisers, Civil Servants, Fundraisers, Educators, Students, Social Entrepreneurs, Activists, Politicians, and Everyone in Between,

    We need architects to help us with initial maps and designs. Any one interested please feel free to drop us an email.

    Happy Midsommar to every body in Sweden and abroad.


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  • Thanks to Julia Ryberg for her support. Many thanks!!!

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  • Special thanks to Robert Hall, the Managing Director of Global Ecovillage Network - Europe for supporting our project. We truly appreciate your efforts.

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The Syrian Initiative Craftsmanship Ecovillage

Fayez Karimeh

Tax registration numbner: 802494-5936


Public documents

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Contribution Information

Contributer Amount Date Status
1 Shadi Arafa 10.00 7/1/2016 6:14:44 AM PayPal Payed
2 Lars Svensson 3.00 6/28/2016 2:57:37 AM Trustly pending
3 Hanna Navier 500.00 6/24/2016 3:42:04 PM Trustly credit
4 Anonymous anonymous 10.00 6/24/2016 2:27:18 AM Trustly credit
5 Marcus Lundquist 50.00 6/23/2016 2:22:04 PM PayPal Payed
6 Micke och Katta Micke 200.00 6/23/2016 4:07:20 AM PayPal Payed
7 claudia peresman 200.00 6/22/2016 2:05:35 PM PayPal Payed
8 adam test 2.00 6/21/2016 8:48:04 PM Trustly pending
9 adam test 2.00 6/21/2016 8:48:04 PM Trustly pending
10 adam test 2.00 6/21/2016 8:48:04 PM Trustly pending
11 Adam Arafa 5.00 6/21/2016 8:48:04 PM Trustly pending
12 Adam Arafa 5.00 6/21/2016 8:48:04 PM Trustly pending
13 Adam Arafa 5.00 6/21/2016 8:48:04 PM Trustly pending
14 Adam Arafa 5.00 6/21/2016 8:48:04 PM Trustly pending
15 Ylva Lundkvist Fridh 1000.00 6/21/2016 8:48:04 PM Trustly pending
16 luraya lukas 50.00 6/21/2016 2:37:04 AM Trustly pending
17 Julia Ryberg 500.00 6/20/2016 8:31:25 AM PayPal Payed
18 Azam Sher 10.00 6/13/2016 4:25:37 AM PayPal Payed
19 Shadi Arafa 10.00 6/13/2016 1:08:20 AM PayPal Payed
20 Mats Dahlström 10.00 6/12/2016 6:13:24 AM PayPal Payed
21 Robert Hall 500.00 6/11/2016 10:00:30 AM Trustly credit
22 Shadi Arafa 10.00 6/23/2010 3:42:04 PM Trustly credit
23 shadi arafa 5.00 1/20/2010 6:42:04 AM Trustly pending
24 shadi arafa 5.00 1/20/2010 6:42:04 AM Trustly pending
25 shadi arafa 5.00 1/20/2010 6:42:04 AM Trustly pending

Information about loans

Lender Amount Int. Rate Status
1 Shadi Arafa 2.00 1.00 % 1 years 7/2/2016 11:28:22 AM Accepted
2 Mats Dahlström 10.00 3.00 % 1 years 7/1/2016 6:26:58 AM Accepted
3 Mats Dahlström 10.00 1.00 % 1 years 6/29/2016 8:31:50 AM Accepted
4 Mats Dahlström 10.00 3.00 % 1 years 6/29/2016 5:12:17 AM Accepted
5 Mats Dahlström 10.00 3.00 % 1 years 6/13/2016 4:29:25 AM Accepted
6 Mats Dahlström 10.00 3.00 % 1 years 6/13/2016 3:09:29 AM Accepted


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    Michael Bergman

    / Planning and design adviser

    Michael Bergman has expertise in Planing and development

Freguently Asked Questions

1. What will my donation be used for?

Your donation will be used to buy building materials, pay for permits and paid licensed technicians if licensed craftspersons cannot be found on a “pro bono” basis.


2. What is the largest and smallest donation accepted?

SICE has not set any limits on the size of donations. All help is greatly appreciated.


3. Where is the SICE ecovillage located?

The first ecovillage is to be built in Avesta Municipality in Dalacarnia (Dalarna) County, in central Sweden.


4. What is an ecovillage?

An ecovillage is an intentional community which tries to work on the four dimensions of sustainability: ecologic, economic, social and worldview. Ecovillages are networked together by the Global Ecovillage Network or its national or regional associations such as Ekobyarnas riksorganisation (ERO) in Sweden or the macro-regional Baltic Ecovillage Network (BEN).


5. Is SICE an NGO or a Cooperative?

SICE is both a Swedish registered non-profit association and a Swedish democratically-run cooperative. The NGO focuses on spreading the ideas of Syrians working together with host country individuals and local government to create positive environments and productive living environments for Syrians as well as host country persons. The SICE Avesta Cooperative is the legal entity in charge of the building of the first SICE ecovillage in Avesta, Sweden.


6. What will the SICE ecovillage include?

While the first phase of construction is for a common house and 5 family houses, each 120 square meters divided on two floors. Work places and gardens are planned. Clay building techniques and innovative water and wastewater treatment is to be included.


7. Who owns the land where the ecovillage is to be built?

Most of the land belongs to Avesta Municipality which is currently ready to lease the land to the SICE cooperative. The land is already zoned for the construction of multiple dwellings and water and sewage has been brought to the parcel. The adjoining parcel belongs to a businessman which has disused farm buildings. The businessman who contacted SICE and asked SICE to build on the municipal lands wishes to cooperate on business creation with the inhabitants to develop local  employment.


8. When will the building begin?

SICE is currently starting up a participatory design process with cooperation between the future inhabitants and professionals. After the planning process, SICE will apply for the building permits from Avesta Municipality.