The Rebuilding Alliance's Design Charette is happening now! Thanks to your generous donations, the Rebuilding Alliance is hard at work in Al Aqaba conducting the Charette.
Maurice Jacobson has published the first two videos chronicling this important event:
Click here to see Chapter 1
Click here to see Chapter 2
Thank you again for your support of this project. More to come!
I just wanted to announce an exciting update concerning this project. You've sent a teacher to Al Aqaba!
Her name is Kali Rubaii. She arrived in Al Aqaba yesterday and she will be teaching English at the children's summer camp. Kali has been volunteering with the Rebuilding Alliance for several months. When this opportunity became available, she was excited to participate and make a difference for the children in Al Aqaba.
Kali has previously taught beginning and intermediate English to Iraqi refugees in Amman, Jordan. She has ten years of experience working in childcare and three years of experience tutoring students in language skills. She received a BA in International Relations from UC Davis and now is a candidate for a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz. She was an active member of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network; including chapter president, student advisor, and chapter policy advisor. She has also won many academic awards including a National Science Foundation Research Grant, the Cota-Robles Fellow for UC Santa Cruz, and 1st place in the UC Davis Prized Writing competition.
Kali will also be volunteering for our Architectual Design Charette that will be held in Al Aqaba near the end of this month. The Charette’s goal is to bring together architects and designers with villagers to design affordable, eco-friendly homes for families who want to return to Al Aqaba. To read more about this project, click on this link: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/rebuilding-palestine/
Thank you as always for your continued contributions. None of these projects could happen without your support.
Yesterday morning I had the chance to speak with Khaled Nasrallah, co-founder of the Rachel Corrie Sports Initiative (RCSI). He informed me that all fencing behind the goals on the Unity Club Soccer Field has been completed.
When I asked if there were any other opportunities to use the money raised through Beams of Light, he explained that RCSI will now be hosting the Rachel Corrie Soccer Tournament on a different soccer field every year. This year it will be held at the Rafah refugee camp called “Block O.” More than half of the homes in “Block O” were demolished from 2000 to 2005 because it was right next to the Israeli Army’s guard tower and a major gate called the Falahadin Gate.
The community finds recovery through soccer! Khaled explained that people, especially the young, gather in a café in camp, near a makeshift field to watch the European soccer games. The café though isn’t like a Starbucks, though. It is made from the rubble of demolished homes. Then they go out to play soccer themselves. He promises to send pictures.
Khaled said it was really important to give families of this neighbor a safe place to play. He felt there are several opportunities that are a close match for this project:
I asked RCSI to email Rebuilding Alliance a plan and a budget for one of these projects, which I will present it to the Rebuilding Alliance Board of Directors. Once we have his proposal, we will modify the Beams of Light: Ramadan Soccer Tournament in Rafah project.
I want to thank you again for all of your help. You have supported infrastructure for an amazing initiative that has brought the youth of Gaza together to play ball! I look forward to being in touch soon. Sincerely, Donna Baranski-Walker Founder and Executive Director
P.S. Just to recap, we accomplished many things above and beyond the original goals of this grant:
In the process, Rebuilding Alliance collected hundreds of gently worn soccer shoes and uniforms, learning a lot about the full dimensions of the blockade in the process. We also help the Rachel Corrie Sports Initiative install a playground at the Unity Club Soccer Field, and spent countless hours working through the details of project development. When those who knew Rachel Corrie decided to clear the rubble of their demolished