I am delighted to bring this report to you. Combatants for Peace and the villagers of Yanun have agreed on a new site for the Abir's Garden Playground, and work has begun at last.
Muhanad is still the Palestinian coordinator of Combatants for Peace - Tel Aviv/Nablus group, Maya was the Israeli Coordator when we began but now Michalo has taken that role. I am getting reports from Michalo and Maya, with Muhanad copied. Next, we plan to send Ayat, Rebuilding Alliance's Communications and Outereach Officer, to join them for their next building day in Yanun.
One more thing you'll want to know about Yanun is that it faces very real attacks on people, homes, and crops by the nearby Israeli settler outpost called Givot Olam, a branch of the Itamar settlement. The attacks were so dangerous that villager evacuated in 2002, to return with the help of Palestinian, Israeli, and International activists. Now, the Ecumenical Accoumpaniment Program in Palestine and Israel has three or four people living in Yanun and Combatants for Peace continues their work with the village in solidarity to keep them safe.
As we reported in the spring, everyone looked forward to launching the project last June, only to learn that the landowner of the site in the center of the little town revoked permission to use that land.
Dear Friend, When I last wrote, the library had expanded and we were excited to bring business plan development advisers to work with the Ibn Rush'd Youth Entrepreneurs. Introductions have been made and first visits have happened — but we're not quite sure this is a good fit, so we are interviewing a second group of advisers as well. Do you know that our Ibn Rush'd Library and Youth Entrepreneurship program qualifies for the Microsoft Youth Spark Matching Grant? If you can make a donation today, please do.
Microsoft YouthSpark will match your donation today — Dollar for Dollar — starting at 6am Pacific / 9am Eastern and again at noon Pacific time / 3pm Eastern. They are giving away $350,000 today but the match will go very quickly, maybe in 5 min so please set your alarm for the exact hour in your time zone. Note: Microsoft will match up to $500 per project.Thank you again for giving wings to the wonderful Ibn Rush'd Library and Entrepreneurship Program. Sincerely,
Dear Friend, Of all the work Rebuilding Alliance has done, our most important project has been the Kindergarten of Al Aqaba. It keeps the whole village standing, attracts the further investment of 20 countries, and is a model for all our work -- but most importantly, our kindergarten provides 160 children with a wonderful education. Our kindergarten opens its door to the children of Al Aqaba, the nearby villages who don't have kindergartens, and to children who live in the Jordan Valley countryside. Your donation opens the doors to families who cannot afford the modest tuition."Your help gives all children the valuable opportunity to walk on the path of education," said Mayor Haj Sami Sadeq. "The kindergarten would struggle to stay open were it not for you." Al Aqaba's Village Council and Al Aqaba's Rural Women's Association thank you for your donations. With your help, through the scholarship grants program, the kindergarten fees for 20 children were covered through the end of November. They believe in your generosity and ask you to continue your support in the months to come.
We are so proud that this project qualifies for the Microsoft Youth Spark Matching Grant offered on Giving Tuesday! On this Tuesday, Microsoft will give away $350,000 in matching grants for each donation up to $500 per project. Please set your alarm as Microsoft YouthSpark will match for Rebuilding Alliance’s project, Dollar for Dollar, starting at 6am PST/ 9am EST and again at noon Pacific / 3pm EST.
The kindergarten now faces a real challenge in the way that it pays teachers. Miniumum wage has gone up in Palestine but the basic fees for the kindergarten remain fixed at 100NIS (New Israeli Shekels) per month. Teacher salaries need to more than double to meet the national standard. Our team is developing a grant proposal to ask foundation to help address this — I promise to forward a copy in the month to come.
The future of these children and this village starts with the journey of knowledge — it is their highest priority. Your donation opens a road of peace and hope. Please donate again on Giving Tuesday. Thank you.