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May 26, 2020

Lifting Families up in Gaza

Mr. Khader, a 50 year old widower, started a textile factory 20 years ago in Gaza, but the blockade imposed on Gaza 14 years ago caused the economy to collapse and forced his business to close. To make matters worse, his wife became seriously ill and died over a year ago, leaving him and his family of eight children (two of them visually impaired) traumatized and in debt. Thanks to funding received from the Gaza Emergency Relief Fund through your help, Rebuilding Alliance and our local partner the Youth Vision Society, helped bring some stability and hope to Mr. Khader and his family.  

A grant from The Gaza Emergency Relief Fund allowed Mr. Khader to pay back some of his debt and to rent and refurbish a small shop from which he can sell basic goods to earn a living.

As Rebuilding Alliance's Gaza City Coordinator, I worked with the Youth Vision Society who contracted for and oversaw the work on the store-front which included restoring walls, painting, updating electrical wiring, changing the doors, and putting up new shelves. Photographer Sanad Latifa did these photos.

With his modest storefront refurbished and re-stocked, Mr. Khader is now back in business and able to support his family. He also doesn't have to worry about losing his home as we helped him repay back rent and take out a six-month lease. You can imagine the relief he felt as this burden was taken off his shoulders.

And with this turn of events, Mr. Khader’s youngest daughter, who recently finished high school but whose educational prospects were uncertain due to their finances, now hopes to be able to register as a freshman in college as soon as possible.

"Thank you Rebuilding Alliance,” Mr. Khader said, “for giving me a new life when I thought I lost all hope."

We are happy to report that through your generous contribution to the Gaza Emergency Relief Fund we will continue to be able to help many families like that of Mr. Khader get back on their feet. We hope to tell you soon about the next family we're working with through this important project.


P.S. Given the COVID-19 situation, we have also transferred money from the Gaza Emergency Relief Fund to our NGO partners to provide hygiene kits for 256 families. These kits contain soap, hand sanitizer, and masks. We have done this in an effort to stay ahead of the potential spread of the virus in Gaza. To learn more about our COVID-19 efforts, you can view reports from our COVID-19 Relief Trust

Links:

May 12, 2020

Rebuilding Alliance and Taawon Doubled Your Power

Staff at Al Awda Hospital try on their new PPEs
Staff at Al Awda Hospital try on their new PPEs

Dear Friend,

We're honored and proud to announce a new partnership with Taawon (Welfare Foundation). They have matched your donation, dollar for dollar, and enabled us to give double the medical supplies to our NGO hospital partners and feed double the families, and do so starting this week, in the holy month of Ramadan. The $54,000 contributed via GlobalGiving is now a grant totaling $108,000!

 

"We are very happy today to have gained a new partner with whom our cooperation commences in jointly fighting the COVID-19 virus in Gaza by providing the health sector in Gaza with supplies and aiding the marginalized families with food during the holy month of Ramadan,” said Yara Salem, Director General of Taawon.

Rebuilding Alliance's two NGO hospital partners are receiving PPE’s, COVID-19 test kits, medicines, and supplies. Founded in 1882, the Al Ahli Arab Hospital (the National Arab Hospital), a Christian hospital under the care of the Anglican Church, is Gaza's oldest hospital. Al Awda Hospital (The Return Hospital), run by the Union of Healthcare Workers Committees, serves over a quarter of the population of the Gaza Strip. In addition, a requirement we included in our agreement with Taawon is that our program must buy masks & protective suits from Gaza factories. This helps to provide jobs in an economy suffering from chronic unemployment now over 60%; Gaza’s economy has been devastated by a 14-year blockade—the longest in human history.

800 families in need will be given food baskets that contain two weeks worth of food and soap too. Handwashing with soap breaks down the COVID-19 virus.

For food distribution, our long-term partners are the Women's Programs Center-Rafah, Youth Vision Society, the Al Basma Club for the Disabled, and the Al Amal Society for Rehabilitation. Each NGO partner chooses their list of families in need, comparing with lists developed by each municipality to be sure that everyone is treated fairly.  Taawon has asked that Al Amal Society for Rehabilitation be the one designated to purchase all the foodstuffs and deliver to the other three.  Each of the four will distribute to their own list of 200 families in need. Rebuilding Alliance did this food program with the partners last year and the year before, distributing a total of 600 baskets. They always do an amazing job.

If you haven't yet, please watch the video of our first report where you can meet staff of Ahli Arab and Al Awda Hospital as well as Unipal, the Gaza manufacturer of protective suits and masks.

Rebuilding Alliance is grateful for your outpouring of support. The groundswell of donations we received in GlobalGiving's LittleXLittle campaign attracted Taawon's interest and we worked hard to close a partnering agreement that has the support of all our local NGO partners in Gaza and is also in full compliance with all U.S. laws and rules. Taawon is a two-time Mahatma Gandhi Award winner that invests $50 million annually in programs that benefit 1 million Palestinians. Their partnerships include the British Council, the Islamic Development Bank, and the Lutheran World Federation. We're proud to be in such illustrious company.

Your donation made this possible. Now we get to do even more.

P.S. Would you like to help raise more funds for this program?  We've formed a Whatsapp group to support one another in creative fundraising for the Palestine, We Care COVID-19 Relief Trust.  You can do this from home and interact directly with our team in the U.S. and in Gaza  -  Apply here

The food being delivered to 800 families this week
The food being delivered to 800 families this week
Our first batch of PPEs, delivered to Al Awda Hosp
Our first batch of PPEs, delivered to Al Awda Hosp

Links:

Dec 31, 2019

Al Aqaba's Kindergarteners on the road to knowledge

A few of this year's scholarship recipients!
A few of this year's scholarship recipients!

Hello Everyone!

My name is Omnia Ghassan. I am a writer and the partnership coordinator for We Are Not Numbers, a group of young Gazan writers who aspire to deliver the Palestinian cause to the West. I was asked by Rebuilding Alliance to write this report for you.  Since I am in Gaza, I was not able to visit but I called Haj Sami Sadeq, the Mayor of Al Aqaba village, and he connected me with the Principal to report on the progress of the Al Haq Kindergarten Scholarship Program. 

The Principal and Mayor provided certified reports, attached. I translated them and Donna Baranski-Walker, Executive Director of Rebuilding Alliance, reviewed them with care.

Al Haq means certainty, reality, truth —  an inspiring name for a kindergarten. Last year, your donation made it possible for 20 children to receive scholarships and attend kindergarten. Their families really appreciated your support because they could not afford to pay the fee. Last year,150 children were registered by their parents, but some were at risk of dropping out because of their financial status.

A big challenge was that the Ministry of Education open a new public kindergarten nearby in Tayasir which is free. Sadly, the Palestinian Authority and the Minister of Education had showed no interest in supporting Al Aqaba’s kindergarten. Last year, everyone in Al Awaba was worried they may have to close but instead many parents and children returned to the Al Haq kindergarten because of their exemplary teaching methods and experienced staff.  It may seem like a small thing, but the kindergarteners are the heart of Al Aqaba Village — indeed the kindergarten is the reason the village can remain standing despite the demolition orders.

Principal Noha Al Dabak, has been the principal for 7 years. She said,  “Our kindergarten serves children from Tubas, Tayasir, and Soghra, not only from Al Aqaba. This year, 35 children are waiting for scholarships and the kindergarten has 132 students enrolled." Their names are Safaa, Marwa, Ghazal, Yousef, Jamil, Laya, Kareem, Ashraf, Aseed, Yousef, Riham, Abdullah, Tala, Rady, Baylasan, Dherar, Hosayna, Sara, Hareth, Seba, Toleen, Hussien, Noran, Mayar, Mohammed, Karam, Sham, Ahmed, Asnat, Aya, Ahmed, Toqa, Jad, Moamer, and Mohammed. So many!

The cost of the kindergarten is 120 NIS ($35) per month which is affordable for most families in the area — but this is way beyond the means of the poorest families, especially in the winter when farming families have already sold their harvest. To remain competitive, the kindergarten keeps fees way down but this means they pay the teachers very little.  Recently, they had to lay off one of the teachers when tuition payments did not arrive in time.

Principal Noha told me about one of the children:  Abdullah is a boy whose father passed away. His mother was working for low pay to raise and educate her child properly and to be able to send him to the Al Haq kindergarten. However, one month, his mother fell sick and was unable to work.  He was at risk of having to leave kindergarten because of her difficult financial condition and inability to pay the monthly tuition.

The children's love for the kindergarten keeps the teachers working even with very low salaries. Everyone is doing their best to keep this wonderful center going — and we hope the Al Haq Kindergarten will expand to become a training center for student teachers in the future.

For now, most importantly, your donation for the scholarship program assure a way for the poorest families to send their children to this wonderful place, giving them a boost for their education and for their lives. Please consider making your donation a recurring donation, so to cover the monthly fee for the child or children you are sponsoring. Your gift will keep them learning, help them seek knowledge, and grant them a brighter future.

2019 Scholarship Students, Principal Noha & Mayor
2019 Scholarship Students, Principal Noha & Mayor
Table by table, scholarship students for 2019
Table by table, scholarship students for 2019
Principal Noha and 2019 Scholarship Students
Principal Noha and 2019 Scholarship Students
Your support makes a big difference!
Your support makes a big difference!
Here are some of the girls who need scholarships
Here are some of the girls who need scholarships
Kindergarten nr mosque w double minaret peace sign
Kindergarten nr mosque w double minaret peace sign

Attachments:
 
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