We have some good news! We have been notified by our friends at Playgrounds for Palestine that they will provide a grant to allows us to begin construction of a third Abir’s Garden Playground right away. Ideally, we would like to use your donations to cover the construction and meeting expenses of Combatants for Peace who will be coming together for this construction.
The “Combatants for Peace” movement was started jointly by Palestinians and Israelis, who have taken an active part in the cycle of violence; Israelis as soldiers in the Israeli army (IDF) and Palestinians as part of the violent struggle for Palestinian freedom. After brandishing weapons for so many years, and having seen one another only through weapon sights, they decided to put down their guns, and to fight for peace. Rebuilding Alliance joined when a child, Abir Aramin, was killed by an Israeli soldier's rubber-coated steel bullet. She was the daughter of CfP founder, Bassam Aramin and his wife Salwa. Together we created Abir's Garden: a Safe Place to Grow as a way to build good in memory of this beautiful child.
Thanks to your help, this will be our 3rd Abir's Garden playground! Our first playground was at Abir's school in Anata East Jerusalem. The next was in Al Samoa Simya in the south of the West Bank. This time we are asking Combatants for Peace to go north — and that means we'll be working with CfP's Northern team for this project. We have a site in mind: right next the Al Aqaba Kindergarten, in a village at risk of demolition in Area C. 'God is in the details' so we will be updating the project description as soon as the new plans are confirmed. More info coming soon!
Please note, GlobalGiving.org is holding their Bonus Matching Grant day on Tuesday Oct. 16th starting at 9:01pm Pacific time. They will give away $50,000 and they way this competition has been going, we expect that to happen in the first 2 hours. If you would like to give, please set your clock — GG will match your donation by 30%.
I am writing to convey very positive news about our 1st Palestinian Birthing Center-Jordan Valley project! Thanks to your support, implementation of this project is now underway!
Last month, Donna Baranski-Walker, founder and executive director of Rebuilding Alliance, met with Jim Stunkel, Project Lead from Assist International, the organization that will provide the birthing center equipment and training. Donna and Jim then developed a Memorandum of Understanding for all the stakeholders in the project and connected with the Rotary Club of Ramallah (our project partners) to work through details. Here are all the tasks that must be addressed:
Below are some pictures of the medical clinic, along with Kali’s measurements of the clinic. We at Rebuilding Alliance are excited to see photos of where the clinic will be located and are happy to share them with you! Thank you again for supporting this project!
I hope you’ve had a wonderful summer! You’ll be happy to know that construction of the first 3 homes in our Rebuilding to Remain program has reached beyond the halfway point. Everyone, especially the families, are eager to finish these homes and move in!
Now the bad news: I need to tell you that construction stopped just before Ramadan. Even though Rebuilding to Remain placed 10th in the Global Giving Matching Grant Competition, we fell short of our fundraising goal. In early July, we transferred all the funds we had raised.
Ours is not the only source of funding for the project. The Palestinian National Authority has committed $13,000 per home and we had hoped they would transfer their share to keep construction moving forward. Rebuilding Alliance Board Chair Carin Pacifico and I flew to meet with the Ministry of Finance and received assurances that these funds would be transferred as soon as they are able. Perhaps you’ve read of the demonstrations and consumer riots in the West Bank because the Palestinian Authority cannot yet meet payroll. According to the Maan News Agency, “The PA is waiting for the US Congress to approve a request by President Barack Obama's administration to pay $200 million to the Ramallah-based government. A hoped-for $1.1 billion in 2011 reached only $750 million, as pledges from Gulf states in particular fell short.”
1) We must meet our commitment: $20,000 per home of which $5000 is grant and $15,000 is loan. Please mark your calendar for October 17th, the next GlobalGiving Bonus Day! Starting at 9pm Pacific time on Oct. 16th, every dollar donated will be matched by GlobalGiving by 30%.
2) Can you join us as a Bonus Day Captain to ask 10 of your friends to donate too? We’ll coach you by phone and email, and invite you a conference call with Mayor Haj Sami! If you would like join us, please give me or Rudy a call at 650 325-4663.
3) This is a critical time for Al Aqaba and all Palestinian Villages in Area C. As the world turns to elections and the very real possibility of war with Iran, we’re one of the only groups watching and working to keep this vulnerable area safe. Next week, Morgan Bach, the teacher who spent 6 months in Al Aqaba as a visiting English teacher is joining us at our shop to help launch our campaign for Al Aqaba in advance of the October 14th Israeli High Court review of demolition orders near the homes we are building. We have designed a cool Ushahidi mapping system to help Contact Congress and Morgan will be setting-up a speaking tour too. More soon!
Thank you again for your support, your patience, and your encouragement. Thank you for being there.