Karama Organisation for Women and Children's Development

Karama (Arabic for Dignity) strives to empower Palestinian women, children and adolescents and develop the local community by providing a safe haven for learning, cultural awareness and recreation away from the violent streets.
May 19, 2015

With your help we did it - THANK YOU!

Thank your for your solidarity!
Thank your for your solidarity!

We did it together! :) On the most recent May Bonus Day we raised more than 3,500 USD with your generous support for Karama's Upcoming Summer Camps. A big big THANK YOU from the whole Karama team for your solidarity and support, for your sharing and donations! We know many people shared it in their network and it is great to see that with your support we can increase our work with our young generation.   

Because with your support Karama is able to set up a great summer program that includes more youth from Deheishe Camp and Khirbet Zakaria. Why is this so necessary you might ask? Because these children are daily suffering from a military occupation that tries to break their spirit and limits their growth. These kids are restricted in their movement, deal with fear for physical and emotional attacks and grow up in a situation with little resources for their education and recreation. The children in the village from Khirbet Zakaria face huge difficulties to even exercise their simple right to education, with the local school being unable to extend while travelling to other schools is too dangerous. This situation of military occupation and colonization of our land requires a lot more attention, but the first thing we can do for our children is to make sure they will grow through this more resilient! 

It will mean a lot to the children from both Deheishe and Khirbet Zakaria to be brought together once again. To make it a safe summer camp, Karama needs to arrange transport between the two places. So your donations will help us to ensure this. We will also use your support to set up creative and active activities that will stimulate leadership and friendship and make the children more emotionally resilient. Above all it should be a time for the kids to be kids and enjoy!

The exchange summer camp will take place after the Islamic month of Ramadan, taking place this year between mid-June and mid-July. During these days most people are fasting from food and negative behavior from sunrise to sunset, but the summer holiday continues afterwards and will prove a better time for more intensive activities. Karama center will be open and active before and during Ramadan however! Did you know that this summer volunteers from all continents will join us? Africa (Egypt), Asia (Singapore), Europe (Poland & UK), South America (Brazil), North America (Canada&USA) are all represented in Karama this summer inshallah!:) If you know somebody around you that could be a great addition to the Karama team, send them the link below with more information! 

Because of your help, we are a lot closer to reaching our goals for this summer! Thank you for helping Karama to keep hope alive in the refugee camp and boost a feeling of dignity among these children. 

If you want to know more about our work, stay in touch or have a specific question about your donation - you are more than welcome to get in touch with us. You can hit reply and we will get back to you! We want you to feel part of our work and we truly hope you will use the tools, email - facebook - our website, for that!:) If you didn’t find us on Facebook yet, please follow the link below.

We can't wait to update you with pictures and stories during the coming months - and think that you've made that happen! 

Thank you again for all you have done to help our cause and we will get in touch next month! 

Warm wishes from Karama!
Warm wishes from Karama!

Links:

May 18, 2015

A view from outside on Karama's garden

Amber, Karama volunteer visiting one of the garden
Amber, Karama volunteer visiting one of the garden

As an international, when I first arrived in Deheishe it was getting out of a taxi to enter a world of concrete. With so many people being forced to live in such a small space, there is no room for things such as a park or even trees. You are hard pressed to look around and find anything green. At least, that is the assumption I had until visiting Karama. On the roof of this NGO is the first rooftop garden that was established in Deheishe. Seeing the life of these numerous plants growing with such power in such conditions leaves a person feeling a new sense of determination. The world of concrete may be the currenct circumstances but that does not mean the people must accept them. These gardens provide the opportunity for people within Deheishe Refugee Camp to challenge the conditions the occupation has left them in.

While you may not be able to stand on a street within the camp and see these green spaces it cannot be mistaken that they are there. With 15 gardens currently established, women have been able to find a new sense of purpose and a feeling of confidence within themselves. They can offer healthy alternatives to their family, providing options others than the sugar filled sweets that come at a much lower cost. When being forced to live in a situation that is full of so many uncertainties, the knowledge that these gardens give to women about where their food is coming from, how it is produced and what is in it allows them to confidently serve meals to their families where they can be sure about the process that went into creating the food they are eating.

Having an international person view and walk through their garden is something these women are becoming more accustomed to. As the gardens grow and flourish, so does the international attention that they are receiving. The hard work of these women has been shown on various news station and they are more than happy to discuss their work. While the attention to the gardens is growing, it is our hope that the support will too. It is only through donations that these women are able to continue their gardens and that Karama will be able to fund the development of even more.

The beginning of May brings the start of summer harvest to the lives of these women and their gardens. It also brings the time when the community remembers the Nakba; the time when the Palestinian people were expelled from their land. However, these gardens have allowed for women to reconnect with their history and the land that they lost. Women that participate in the gardening project have spoken of how through this project they feel more connected to their villages than ever. Working with these plants and growing food for their family has provided a renewed emotional connection that had been tested by the circumstances of the occupation. These gardens provide a tie to a past that can become hard to reach through daily struggles. One woman has claimed she now feels more ready to move back to her land than ever before. While time continues to pass creating a further separation among people and between Palestinian and their land, their history and their rights, time has not weakened the spirit and determination of the people. 

Hearing about gardens from Karama director Yasser
Hearing about gardens from Karama director Yasser
Eggplant harvest getting ready as well
Eggplant harvest getting ready as well
May 7, 2015

Boost dignity, break isolation - Support Karama this Wednesday on Matching Day!

Boys during summer camp
Boys during summer camp

You remember this picture from last summer? It received the most likes on our Facebook as a bright expression of happiness & friendship, beating isolation and separation!

These boys live only 10 kilometers apart, but met for the first time last summer overcoming restrictions and fear in an area crippled by Jewish-only settlements.  The young communities of Deheishe (a refugee camp) and Khirbet Zakaria (a village in Area C surrounded by settlements) lack opportunities for the teenagers to develop and recreate. But in Karama’s summer camp they can come together to express themselves creatively and build new friendships.

Let’s do it again this summer!

During the summer of 2015 Karama will bring together teenagers from both Deheishe can Khirbet Zakaria. They will enjoy a program with recreational activities as well as workshops that stimulate learning, friendship, leadership and responsibility towards nature and each other. We will work with local Karama volunteers and social workers, while international volunteer will contribute with their creative skills as well. Such a positive experience can impact any girl's or boy's life for the better!

Why is this Wednesday important? Global Giving will match all your donations from 9AM till midnight EDT (starting 1PM GMT for our friends in Europe). 75,000 USD in matching funds are available and EVERY donation – how small, how big – will receive a bonus! On this day you can make your donation go a lot further! And with every dollar, Karama will deliver a program more packed with resources and creativity.

 

How can you help?

  1. Share this email with friends & family so they are aware of this opportunity for Karama!
  2. Like our Page on facebook to show your support for Karama.
  3. Join our Event Page on FB so you will be updated and can show your support!
  4. Open your email on Wednesday to receive the link where you can donate.

We can’t wait for the holiday to start and work together with these youth! Boys like Bara deserve a space to develop themselves away from stress and violence. Karama wants to equip and empower them; with your help we can do that.

Thank you so much for your continuing support - it is a special feeling to know we in Deheishe can count on the thoughts and solidarity from people around the world! 

Get in touch with us - we love to hear from you - on Facebook or hit reply! 

Joy in Khirbet Zakaria
Joy in Khirbet Zakaria

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