This morning, we heard some wonderful news from Ramallah. Since 1996, a group of residents have been waiting for the approval of their application to launch a Rotary Club. Finally, the Ramallah Rotary Club was chartered in the spring, and was presented to the 30,000 rotarians present at the International Rotary Conference in Montreal.
What does this have to do with the Birthing Center that you are helping us to build? Everything.
The Ramallah Rotary Club has approved our plans for the first Palestinian Birthing Center in Area C, to be built in Al Aqaba, and will join us in raising funds.
This is a huge roadblock that we have crossed. The Rotary partnership is one essential piece of completing this project. Due to its ambitious scope, we could not raise the funds for the center from individuals or rotary clubs alone. Both are necessary, and the Rotary network brings a great deal of opportunity forward.
Executive Director of the Rebuilding Alliance, Donna Baranski-Walker comments:
"Because Rotary is involved, we are bringing the proposal forward at clubs throughout California, and to add the Ramallah club to the list is a great joy. There is considerable bravery on all sides, because the the Rotary Club of Nazareth is welcomed by Al Aqaba and all involved as a strong supporter in the project. It's taken a year and a half to bring this all together, and we are delighted to give many communities the opportunity to help."
Though we still need your help, and have a lot of work ahead of us, this development is heartening, especially now. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the resumption of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. We have seen these peace talks before, and we must remember now that talking is not enough. We have to build together to really make peace. And to pursue a building project so essential for women's health in Area C, where demolitions of Palestinian homes continue, is all the more important. Much of Area C is the Jordan River Valley, and the Birthing Center in Al Aqaba is nestled there. It not only provides a vehicle of health, but a way for Palestinians to
Join us in celebrating the new Rotary Club of Ramallah, our new partnership, and a path to move forward with the Birthing Center!
The past weeks have been both tragic and remarkable ones. The attack on the flotilla shocked, angered, and saddened people all over the world. The Rebuilding Alliance sent materials on one boat in the flotilla, the MV Rachel Corrie, as part of our More Than Chocolates for Gaza campaign. We are working hard pressure the U.S. government to assure delivery of those materials.
Meanwhile, the people of Gaza wait for the blockade to be lifted.
There are things we can do to bring hope in the meantime. We can bring light.
Ramadan is coming again, and early. During Ramadan, people come outside to be with one another and celebrate at night, after the fast is over for the day. With your help, we have furnished the soccer field in Rafah with some lights for playing at night, but not enough yet. The field needs more light! Keep up the good work and the much appreciated donations.
Thanks for the help and support you’ve given to our Beam of Light: Ramadan Soccer Tournament in Rafah! Through your help, lights have been installed along the walkway, allowing for safer passage in the evening or night. Additionally, we were able to install the transformer for the lights spec’ed in our project.
You may remember that this project is being organized by the Rachel Corrie Sports Initiative in Gaza. These are the families who knew Rachel when she lived in Gaza and they pursue her commitment to nonviolence and community in her memory.
I want to take this opportunity to tell you that Cindy and Craig Corrie (Rachel’s parents) have asked people around the world to participate in an international day of conscience in her memory. As it happens, on that very day, Tuesday, GlobalGiving will match your donation at 30%, up to $1,000 per donor, for all donations received from 12:01am tonight, eastern standard time until 11:59pm Tuesday, eastern time.
Our Beam of Light project has raised $4744 so far with $ 6587 still needed to meet the $11,331 goal to install all the lights for the field. Please give on Tuesday to make this dream come true.
P.S. In memory of Rachel and her dreams, we would like to send you a very special gift when you make a donation. A few months after Rachel was killed, hundreds of people joined her mother in Olympia Washington, to walk in her memory in the "Procession of the Species" - all wearing dove costumes (- Rachel had been a key volunteer for this gentle parade, designing and making dove costumes).
When you donate for the "Beam of Light: Ramadan Soccer Tournament in Rafah" project, we will email you a certificate of thanks, along with detailed instructions describing how you can make a dove costume in Rachel's memory, developed by Olympia artist candio. and including photos of Rachel and the many adults and children walking as doves in her memory in Olympia's Procession of the Species.