Rebuilding Alliance

Rebuilding Alliance is dedicated to rebuilding war-torn communities and bringing the world together to make them safe. Our vision is a just and enduring peace in Israel and Palestine with equal value, opportunity, and security for all.
Oct 24, 2014

Next steps for Library & Entrepreneurship Program

Kindergarteners visiting the Ibn Rush
Kindergarteners visiting the Ibn Rush'd Library

Dear Friends,

Good news!   The Ibn Rush'd Library has expanded!

"We expanded the library by moving the wall out over the walkway and also upgrading the restroom," said Mayor Haj Sami.  "We will buy new books soon."

I am sending you photos of Librarian Kefah reading to a class of kindergarteners.  Librarian Kefah is now signed-up in Beyond Access, a movement of people and organizations committed to the idea that modern public libraries help drive economic and social development.  My daughter, Andrea Walker, took these pictures when she came to Al Aqaba with me in May.

Regarding the Ibn Rush'd Entrepreneurship program, the young people are eager to move forward with their frozen vegetable company.  It seems like a good idea — but before committing funds, the next step is to develop a business plan.   We have been looking for a mentor to help the young people and also to help the Rural Women's Association press forward with their respective business plans.  Also, yet a third proposal is coming forward to both groups:  goat-milk ice cream!

In September, I facilitated a panel discussion at the recent Social Capital conference in San Francisco (SOCAP'14), focused on construction financing in the West Bank's Area C.  Through that presentation, we found our way to the Middle East Investment Initiative and their Techical Assistance Program (TAP) funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).  This might be just the group to mentor Al Aqaba's youth entrepreneurs.

The Technical Assistance Program is provided without fees to Palestinian small businesses including start-ups.  Priority is given to East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, and Area C of the West Bank.  Here are the objectives:

  1. Provide technical assistance and training to businesses to better understand their financial and management performance.
  2. Guide businesses to achieve better financial and management performance.
  3. Provide career opportunities to Palestinian university students by offering internships and practical experience.
  4. Provide technical assistance and support to femaleowned businesses.
  5. Provide other consulting services tailored to the particular needs of the businesses.
  6. Assist businesses applying for credit by helping their owners prepare business plans and supporting documents as required by the lenders when needed.

We look forward to connecting everyone and sending you their business plans in our next update!

I sincerely thank you for your support of both the Ibn Rush'd Library and the Ibn Rush'd Entrepreneurship Program.  Your donation has opened an important and exciting door for these students.  We are all very grateful for your support and we look forward to keeping you updated as new connections are made and their business plans take shape.

Sincerely,
Donna

Librarian Kefah asks and answers questions
Librarian Kefah asks and answers questions
Something funny
Something funny
Reading a story
Reading a story
Today
Today's story is in Arabic, others in English

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Jun 25, 2014

What Abir's Garden can do - today at noon Eastern

CFP Tel Aviv-Nablus group & the people of Yanun
CFP Tel Aviv-Nablus group & the people of Yanun

Dear Friends,

When our Rebuilding Alliance team met with our partners, Combatants for Peace, and the playground designers in March we were planning the third Abir’s Garden Playground.  It was an amazing and productive meeting.   Remarkably, representatives of the Akraba Municipality, a large town nearby, promise to match all the funds we raised for this project!  Akraba Town will provide their staff and equipment to do the earthmoving to complete the first two phases of the project!  

It was remarkable to see the trust everyone placed in one another - Ein Yanun, Combatants for Peace, Akraba Municipatlity and Rebuilding Alliance representing all of you who have supported this work these many years.  Akraba's matching grant means that the cost of this 3rd Abir's Garden playground is fully covered!   Any additional funds we raise now will be for Combatants for Peace's children's theatre program.

Let's make it so.  Today Wednesday, June 25th in just a few hours time, a remarkable a bonus day kicks off with a dollar for dollar match for donations up to $1000.  Today Wednesday, June 25th, Microsoft Youth Spark is giving away $200,000 in matching funds via GlobalGiving — but please note, though the match will go in the first 5 minutes, there is also a bonus for most donors and most total donations.

Please set your alarm today for 9:01am Pacific, 10:01am Mountain, 11:01am Central, or Noon:01pm Eastern.   Please click Scholarships 4 Children, Stipends 4 Young Teachers to give.

As always, please call me if you have questions or suggestions. My phone number is 650 325-4663.

Sincerely,
Donna

Mohanad & Rashed looking at the plans
Mohanad & Rashed looking at the plans
The Combatants for Peace group on site in Yanun
The Combatants for Peace group on site in Yanun
Jun 24, 2014

Palestinian Youth propose new businesses - Bonus Day Wednesday!

Dear Friends,

We are delighted to watch 15 young people, all from Al Aqaba Village, move forward in the Ibn Rush'd Entrepreneurship Club!   They formed the club just before the April Youth Spark competition and here we are with another Bonus Day this week.

These high school graduates (some already in college) are coming together to build one or more businesses that will provide them with jobs.   They meet at Al Aqaba's Ibn Rush'd Library.  First, Librarian Kefah  held meetings with local experts to to help the students learn how to come up with good business ideas.  At both the cheese and tea factories, they interviewed the managers and discussed marketing and management. They also met Mayor Haj Sami Sadiq and Raheya Alsbaih, director of the Rural Women’s Association, both inspiring leaders. 

Then Librarian Kefah invited them to brainstorm their own business ideas.  Among the many projects they thought of, the frozen seasonable vegetables seemed suitable for its minimal budget and resources, especially since the Goat Cheese Factory is receiving new freezers.   Meanwhile, interest is growing around the possibility of bringing a high quality ice cream machine to Al Aqaba for goat milk ice cream.  Their next step:  to learn how to write a business plan.

Meanwhile, Librarian Kefah is working to complete her training as a librarian.  She recently completed training at the Al Bireh Public Library, a remarkable library in the large town next to Ramallah.   She has also been joining cultural training programs in the nearby villages of Tamoun and Al Far'a.

Good news.  This Wednesday June 25th is a bonus day with a dollar for dollar match for donations up to $1000.  On Wednesday, Microsoft Youth Spark is giving away $200,000 in matching funds via GlobalGiving — I think the match will go in the first 5 minutes

If you would like to give, please mark your calendar for Wednesday, June 25th and set your alarm for 9:01am Pacific, 10:01am Mountain, 11:01am Central, or Noon:01pm Eastern.    Please click Ibn Rush'd Entrepreneurs Program for Area C Youth to give.

As always, please call me if you have questions or suggestions.  My phone number is 650 325-4663.

Sincerely,

Donna


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