I am happy to tell you that work has resumed to finish our first three Rebuilding to Remain homes in Palestine.
Nearly 700 donors like you helped Rebuilding Alliance meet our Rebuilding to Remain fund raising goal, and we built the first 3 homes as promised in Al Aqaba Village in the Jordan Valley. This is one of the areas of the West Bank that is currently under demolition orders by the Israeli Army, Area C. We worked directly with the families to design energy efficient homes, together daring to draft Palestinian Building Permits where none existed, and created the first mortgage loan program for Area C.
Instead of waiting for the finishing grants promised by the Palestinian National Authority (its been over one year now), the families have agreed to extend their mortgage loan and Rebuilding Alliance is raising the funds caused by that shortfall to buy the doors, windows, tiles, and plumbing to finish so they can move in. Thanks to recent donations we are transferring $7000 this month in extended mortgage loans and will transfer additional loans each month as soon as donations arrive.
If only a small amount is raised each month, the families have decided to finish the homes one by one instead of finishing all simultaneously. They declined to draw straws to choose which home is finished first. Instead, Nabil, Safah, Othman and Sara all decided that Sadeq’s house should be finished first because Sadeq’s wedding waits for the day he can bring his bride home.
As you can see in the attached itemized budget, the total finishing costs for all three homes is $38,862. The families will be doing the painting, reducing the total to $33,417. With our transfer of $7000, we just need $26,417 to finish.
If we could finish all three at the same time it would be both safer and also, newsworthy as the village will hold a grand homecoming celebration that will be truly inspiring. All three homes could be finished in early March if all of us make a one-time donation of $50. Let’s make this happen.
If you would like to join me for that Homecoming celebration (and maybe even Sadeq’s wedding), please consider travelling with me on Rebuilding Alliance’s first-ever study tour, February 24-March 6th. Please give me a call if you would like to discuss a major donation or would like more information about the study tour. My cellphone is 650 440 9667.
I look forward to your reply.
Dear Friend of the Rural Women's Center,
The Rural Women’s Association (RWA) in Al Aqaba dreamt of building a community center to generate jobs. Imagine 300 women dancing in the wedding hall, with the RWA preparing the banquet! In August, Australian Designer Hana Hakim, Palestinian architect Renad Shequerat, and the RWA worked with us to finalize plans for the Rural Women’s Center — and our designs touched your heart. Together we won GlobalGiving’s Regional Bonus Day!
Your support on the Bonus Day led to a big surprise. That win resulted in an offer by the Catholic Church to lease the Rural Women’s Association a vacant 15th century convent in nearby Tayasir, and RIWAQ Center for Architectural Conservation offered an 80% matching grant for restoration! The Rural Women’s Association is interested and the designers and architect are delighted. Next step: a site visit by the RWA and RIWAQ with the Office of the Latin Patriarchate to explore restoration, discuss terms, and decide how to protect the 3rd Century mosaics there.
Generous donor, what do you think? The new proposal is to transform an abandoned 15th Century century convent into a thriving community center run by the remarkable Al Aqaba Rural Women's Association, the group that has been our partner for nearly 10 years now. It is still very much a green building, but now instead of $200K in project costs, we'll see a significant reduction in costs as well as matching grants and good alliances. Does this work for you?
I look forward to your reply. Feel free to give me a call at (650) 440-9667 if you have any questions or suggestions.
"I think the first sense I had in experiencing the work with Theater of the Oppressed was surprise. It was surprising to feel so many feelings at the same time: excitement, sadness and joy. It was surprising to feel so close to people that only an hour ago where strangers or enemies. For me, TO is a bridge, a surprising bridge.”
Below, I've attached a more detailed description of the theater rationale and also how CfP will extend this to youth, starting with a launch event in Al Aqaba Village and Ein Yanoun soon after.