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.
Dec 2, 2013

A BIG way to help the neediest children on Tuesday

Dear Friend,

All good news from Al Aqaba Village.  The British Consulate and the Palestinian Welfare Foundation have provided a grant to update the furniture, books, and toys in the Al Haq Kindergarten — very exciting.  We had the opportunity to join them when they visited in August for a walk-through.   It was wonderful to bring forward Rebuilding Alliance's commitment — we built the Kindergarten and helped it expand in so many ways.

I hope you are as excited as I am by our new scholarship focus for this project!   I have asked Mayor Haj Sami Sadeq and Kindergarten Principal Rawheya Alsbaih to tell us about the children who need scholarships and their families.  They would like to give 60 children scholarships for Kindergarten — let's do it!

Please GIVE on Tuesday, Dec. 3rd when Microsoft's Youth Spark program will be matching all donations dollar for dollar.  Please give as early as you can because their funds will run out quickly.  Here's when the matching grant starts:

 9:01am Pacific  /  Noon:01 Eastern  /  5:01pm London  /  7:01pm Jerusalem time

Thank you again!
Nov 25, 2013

Big News about Abir's Garden Playground in Ein Yanoun!

Drawings for new Ein Yanoun Playground
Drawings for new Ein Yanoun Playground

Dear Friend,

We have amazing news.  Abir’s Garden: Playgrounds for a Safe Place to Grow has been selected to be part of Microsoft’s Youth Spark matching grant program!   What that means is that on #GivingTuesday,  Dec. 3rd,  Microsoft will match all donations in a 1:1 match starting at 9am Pacific time — and they are giving away a total of $250,000.  

The reason Abir’s Garden qualified for Youth Spark is that Combatants for Peace added something new:  youth theater.   In addition to the wonderful building plans we’ve just received for the new playground construction in Ein Yanoun (see photo below), CfP will launch a new theater workshop for the children.   These big former soldiers and former fighters are going to build the new playground AND work with the children to give shape to their dreams and vision while acknowledging the daily challenges the face. 

This project matters because the children face a very real danger.  Nearly every day, settlers run down the hill and attack families in the village.   I’ve included a wikipedia link that describes what has been going on.  Internationals are invited live in the village because that helps keep them safe and this village has been working with Combatants for Peace for years because they so deeply want a peaceful future. 

Now here’s our challenge:  yesterday, a representative from Microsoft told us that their Youth Spark matching funds run out in the first hour.   I know this project means a lot to you — please take a moment now to mark your calendar and set an alarm for  9am Pacific  /  Noon Eastern /  5pm London  /  7pm Jerusalem time. 

At a minute after the hour on Dec. 3rd, please make your donation and watch it double!

Sincerely,

Donna

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Nov 25, 2013

New Title, New Goal

This is the photo I took in 2003, my first visit
This is the photo I took in 2003, my first visit

 

Dear Friend,

We have really good news.   This amazing project in support of the kindergarten and schools in Al Aqaba Village, has been selected to be part of Microsoft’s Youth Spark matching grant program!   This means that on #GivingTuesday,  Dec. 3rd,  Microsoft will match all donations dollar for dollar starting at 9am Pacific time — and they are giving away a total of $250,000.  

What an incredible pleasure it is to hear Al Aqaba Village fill with children’s voices each morning as the school bus minivan brings more and more students from the surrounding towns and hillsides!  This is especially important here, because demolition orders have been issued against the 95% of the structures including most of the homes, the mosque, the clinic, and the kindergarten.  Our Al Haq Kindergarten (Al Haq means ‘justice’ in Arabic) is what keeps Al Aqaba Village standing, inspiring some 20 countries to invest in Al Aqaba and to provide a diplomatic channel that is the village's lifeline — but no matter how wonderful a building may be, what matters most is the children. 

When the brilliant students at Foothill College's Rebuilding Alliance Club helped us launch this project, we called it "Teaching in a Village Under Demolition Orders."  As you see, we’ve now renamed to call it “Scholarships for Children, Stipends for Young Teachers” to help the neediest children attend kindergarten tuition-free while continueing to provide stipends to student teachers.   We moved support for the Library into its own project called, “Help the Ibn Rush’d Library Serve Youth in Area C” — and that new project qualified for the Youth Spark 1:1 matching grant too!

  • We look forward to bringing you the stories of the children and their families who will receive the scholarships.  While  demolition orders for the kindergarten and neighboring homes remain “frozen” as best we can tell, not so for families in the nearby countryside where the Israeli army has been tearing down the modest homes of the poorest of the poor.   Your support will provide an oasis for these children by giving their families a way to send them to kindergarten.
  • Your support will also continue to bring student teachers to Al Aqaba Village.  Since this project began, Kali, Matt, Morgan, Ian, Dan and Ellen have been student teachers focused on teaching English in Al Aqaba, joining us from the U.S., Estonia, and China.  They have brought incredible commitment and energy to Al Aqaba Village.  They have been a brave resource during times when the Israeli Army demolished homes nearby or entered the village to hold live-fire training exercises as their writing, photos, and videos helped wake-up the diplomatic network to restore safety.

I know this project means a lot to you and I hope you will save the date to give on #GIvingTuesday.   We learned in the Youth Spark training that even with $250,000 to give away, Microsoft’s Youth Spark 1:1 matching funds will likely run out in the very first hour.    

Please take a moment now to mark your calendar and set an alarm for  9am Pacific  /  Noon Eastern /  5pm London  /  7pm Jerusalem time.    At a minute after the hour on Dec. 3rd, please make your donation and watch it double!

Questions?  Suggestions? Please give me a call at 650 325-4663.

Sincerely,

Donna

Kindergarten where RA built first floor, 2004
Kindergarten where RA built first floor, 2004
Our Kindergarten today, plus library, sewing co-op
Our Kindergarten today, plus library, sewing co-op
160 children are in this year
160 children are in this year's class of 2014!

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