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.
Feb 18, 2015

One step closer to a brighter future in Deheishe

Benefits of rooftop gardens also reach young women
Benefits of rooftop gardens also reach young women

Let us start with thanking you for the support you have given us in the last months!

In Karama’s previous update we shared with you a bit of the skills that so many women learn during their involvement in the Rooftop Garden project. We mentioned how it increases their self-esteem and also their social and communication skills; a great improvement that helps them to feel better in more aspects of their live! But the story does not end here...

This month we want to give you a bit more insight in the current situation in the camp and explain why we as Karama Team focus on youth as and self-sustainability. In Palestine, we see young new leaders are eager to stand up, change-makers make a difference and inspire their community from within. By giving them responsibilities in our activities in Karama, they are able to grow into their future roles.

When you talk to the youth in Deheishe Camp, you can feel their energy to make a change. Therefor it’s even harder to see that due to a lack of possibilities, this energy grows less every day. Not being channeled to a good cause they slowly lose their force.

Image when you were younger and had many dreams and plans for your future and how you were able to set this in motion to achieve these dreams. Now imagine those same dreams but no means or possibilities whatsoever... Just having to stand by and see your dreams slowly fade away. Eventually this generation is losing hope and is unable to make a fair living for themselves. The negative circumstances lead them to poverty, depression and so on.

Reports confirm that unemployment and poverty in the Palestinian Territories leads young people to frustration and despair. It harms their dignity and creates social and political problems.

The conditions in the Refugee Camps not only affect the mind but it also affects the body. Limited exercise, unhealthy diets (minimum intake of fresh vegetables and maximum intake of sugar), stress; all these factors contribute to health risks. "Obesity, smoking and inactivity are the main health risks for young people," a report says about the Palestinian youth. As stated in an article by Hazem Balousha "A number of studies have shown that 25% of adolescents and 30% of girls are obese or overweight. An UNRWA study said that 70% of females of reproductive age and more than half of women under 30 are overweight."

 

Let’s meet Ibrahim, he is a 22 year old refugee from the Deheishe Camp. Although he studied at a University, he is not able to find a job that matches his education. Not wanting to give up under the circumstances he now works at a fruit stand at the side of one of the main streets to Bethlehem. Here he earns about 30 Shekels a day for working as much as 8- 10 hours a day…

Please keep in mind that 5 Shekel is about 1 Euro and the taxi drive to his work place already costs him 3 Shekel! Now he is barely able to contribute to his family, not even thinking about saving for his future. You can imagine this can break somebodies spirit. But you will see that the youth here have a strong spirit and are willing to work hard to make a difference for themselves.

Not willing to abandon them to their fates, Karama offers the youth of Deheishe a first step to a better life. And we hope you will do this with us. We believe that together we can make a difference.

 

Benefits of projects focused on youth by Karama

One of our goals is to empower young people to have the ability and life skills to change their own future. By giving them a safe (learning-) environment where they can put their skill in to use, they can gain work and life experience that will prepare them for a future where they can be self-reliant. By doing so, this will increase their quality of life. That is why, in the next round of rooftop gardens starting this spring we want to engage the young people from Deheishe. The UN Youth Fund has already showed interest in funding gardens for young refugee women in the camp and Karama is eager to engage them in this initiative!

Will you help us to include more participants, so we can also engage young men like Ahmed in this project? With 600 dollars we can start an extra garden. If 12 of our supporters donate 50 dollars we can already help Ahmed to produce on his roof!

Producing food will give the youth in Deheishe Camp both physical independence and psychological freedom from the occupation. They will learn to be able to take care of themselves and maybe even to take care of their families in the future. And pass their skills onto their own children.

Something we see too often over the past few years is the outflow of educated, talented youth from Palestine abroad, unable to find a fair job in their own country. This emigration of intelligent, well-educated individuals to somewhere else for better pay or conditions causes Palestine to lose skilled and ambitious people. Something we are so bad in need for! We will go against this trend and ‘brain drain’ and maybe even inspire those who left the land to come back and use it. To plant and harvest together for a happier and healthier life.

 

Keep the Palestinian youth in your thoughts!:)

We love to hear from you!

Young volunteers developing their skills as guides
Young volunteers developing their skills as guides

Links:

Feb 18, 2015

Youth taking a next step to a brighter future!

Benefit of rooftop gardens reaches young women too
Benefit of rooftop gardens reaches young women too

In the last update we asked you for monthly donations so we would be able to hire a social worker for a sustainable investment in the children attending our center. We are happy that you have responded to our request and we can point out that we are on the way to reaching our goal for the children!
 

So, let us start with thanking you for the support you have given us in the last months!
Please keep giving and share our message!:)


This month, we want to give you a bit more insight in the conditions surrounding our youth in Deheishe and why we want to keep the older children engaged in our activities. At Karama we see the youth as the change- makers for the future. Young new leaders are waiting to stand up to make a difference and inspire their community from within. By giving them responsibilities in our activities they are able to grow into their future roles.

When you talk to the youth in Deheishe Camp, you can feel their energy to make a change. Therefor it’s even harder to see that due to a lack of possibilities, this energy grows less every day. Not being channeled to a good cause they slowly lose their force.

Image when you were younger and had many dreams and plans for your future and how you were able to set this in motion to achieve these dreams. Now imagine those same dreams but no means or possibilities whatsoever... Just having to stand by and see your dreams slowly fade away. Eventually this generation is losing hope and is unable to make a fair living for themselves. The negative circumstances lead them to poverty, depression and so on.

Reports confirm that unemployment and poverty in the Palestinian Territories leads young people to frustration and despair. It harms their dignity and creates social and political problems.The conditions in the Refugee Camps not only affect the mind but it also affects the body. Limited exercise, unhealthy diets (minimum intake of fresh vegetables and maximum intake of sugar), stress; all these factors contribute to health risks. "Obesity, smoking and inactivity are the main health risks for young people," a report says about the Palestinian youth. As stated in an article by Hazem Balousha "A number of studies have shown that 25% of adolescents and 30% of girls are obese or overweight. An UNRWA study said that 70% of females of reproductive age and more than half of women under 30 are overweight."

Let’s meet Ibrahim, he is a 22 year old refugee from the Deheishe Camp. Although he studied at a University, he is not able to find a job that matches his education. Not wanting to give up under the circumstances he now works at a fruit stand at the side of one of the main streets to Bethlehem. Here he earns about 30 Shekels a day for working as much as 8- 10 hours a day…

Please keep in mind that 5 Shekel is about 1 Euro and the taxi drive to his work place already costs him 3 Shekel! Now he is barely able to contribute to his family, not even thinking about saving for his future. You can imagine this can break somebodies spirit. But you will see that the youth here have a strong spirit and are willing to work hard to make a difference for themselves.

Not willing to abandon them to their fates, Karama offers the youth of Deheishe a first step to a better life. And we hope you will do this with us. We believe that together we can make a difference.
 

Benefits of projects focused on youth by Karama.
One of our goals is to empower young people to have the ability and life skills to change their own future. By giving them a safe (learning-) environment where they can put their skill in to use, they can gain work and life experience that will prepare them for a future where they can be self-reliant. By doing so, this will increase their quality of life. That is why, in the next round of rooftop gardens starting this spring we want to engage the young people from Deheishe. The UN Youth Fund has already showed interest in funding gardens for young refugee women in the camp and Karama is eager to engage them in this initiative!

Will you help us to include more participants, so we can also engage young men like Ahmed in this project?With 600 dollars we can start an extra garden. If 12 of our supporters donate 50 dollars we can already help Ahmed to produce on his roof!

Producing food will give the youth in Deheishe Camp both physical independence and psychological freedom from the occupation. They will learn to be able to take care of themselves and maybe even to take care of their families in the future. And pass their skills onto their own children.

Something we see too often over the past few years is the outflow of educated, talented youth from Palestine abroad, unable to find a fair job in their own country. This emigration of intelligent, well-educated individuals to somewhere else for better pay or conditions causes Palestine to lose skilled and ambitious people. Something we are so bad in need for! We will go against this trend and ‘brain drain’ and maybe even inspire those who left the land to come back and use it. To plant and harvest together for a happier and healthier life.
 

Keep us in your thoughts!:) We love to hear from you!

Young local volunteers gaining skills as guides
Young local volunteers gaining skills as guides
Youth harvesting the benefits!
Youth harvesting the benefits!

Links:

Dec 8, 2014

Winter in Bethlehem's refugee camps

The pride of our work and community!
The pride of our work and community!

Winter in Bethlehem's refugee camp (and why we love to hear from you monthly:)) 

Seasons change; in the weather and the garden, however these months also see the oppression growing colder and harsher. People in Palestine are eager for relieve and change, but as there is no sign change will come from the outside, we as Karama need to continue nurture change and hope on the inside. No matter the cold and no matter how little the resources!

Between the small and unsafe streets of the camp, the children find a place to run, play and get together in the little, but well-filled, center. The books, the colors, the laughter, the hug they find in Karama can give them the support, the motivation or inspiration to get a little stronger day by day. Your donations have helped us to buy new materials for activities and cover maintenance on our buildings. Through this act, you have built together with our staff in this project, just like our volunteers are doing daily! Volunteers from the community or from far away have joined us for shorter or longer times to work next to us for the same goal of restoring dignity in our youth and women.

Like Rawan, who has been stimulating the children through time in the library and quizzes on all kinds of topics. Senan constantly engaged the kids and women in the English language during his time with Karama, while Imaan kept them always active inside and outside. With Adrian the real sportsmen have become clear among the kids whereas Ross never gave our youngest a dull moment! Karama is extremely proud and happy with the energy and support of volunteers like these, but this list could have been much longer with more and more missing names. The supporters from abroad who were denied to enter our country by the Occupation, based on their skin color, a previous stamp or their upright intentions, after hours and hours of interrogation and harsh treatment. Or the names of local volunteers, who wish they could join but struggle every day to make a living for their family and are practically unable to contribute voluntary. Missing their presence is a direct result of the occupation that keeps our lives limited in more ways than one can imagine but that will fall in the end. Stimulating this resilient attitude is a core thought in our work in Deheishe and we are glad you are being part of this! 

Maybe you are preparing for Christmas, or you are reflecting on your new aims for 2015. And it could make you wonder what Karama wishes in this month of gifts, celebrations and reflection! We would appreciate it greatly if you could take time to consider supporting us with a reoccurring donation, so we can hire a social worker who needs a monthly salary.

With the current commitment from several donors we would already be able to cover about 1/3 of a salary, but we would need another 300 till 400 dollars each month to give a steady salary to a future staff member. Meaning we need only 10 people who support us with a steady 40 dollars a month! Hiring a social worker would mean a sustainable investment in the children attending our center, who would be able to benefit from regular guidance and workshops that will have more attention for they emotional and behavioral challenges than current volunteers can give.  

           Will you help us build our center and our services to the children of Deheishe?


Reoccurring donations can be chosen when you click the orange “DONATE” button; just change the menu below ‘frequency’ to monthly! With the support from GlobalGiving, new monthly donations will be match making your support even double efficient!!

Thank you for your support through all these seasons. Feel free to share this email with friends or family, or get in contact with us on Facebook or by sending an email to contact@karama.org

                        Warm wishes from the whole Karama Team!

Our women restoring their dignity on their roofs
Our women restoring their dignity on their roofs

Links:

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