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.
Mar 1, 2010

Reopening the Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign in Gaza

Dear Friends,

There may now be a way to re-open our Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign in Gaza and complete the 2nd home. This spring, the Free Gaza Movement will send a flotilla of ships destined for Gaza with cargo ranging from school supplies, to sports equipment, to building materials. They have invited the Rebuilding Alliance to participate and will deliver cement and steel re-bar to our partners at the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme for the construction of the Al Bahry family’s home.

You may remember, we began our Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign in Gaza in 2004, and successfully completed construction of a home for the family whom the late Rachel Corrie had sought to protect. Completion of that first home was a significant challenge due to the blockade first imposed on Gaza when Israeli settlers were being relocated from Gaza to Israel.

We dream of rebuilding whole neighborhoods in Gaza. In 2007, despite the blockade, we boldly started raising funds to build a second home, this one for physiotherapist Ali Al Bahry and his family. He is a key provider at Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, serving children and adults who’ve also lost their homes and more.

The blockade and siege kept us from realizing our goals as the price of building supplies dramatically increased then became entirely unavailable in Gaza. We’ve explored many alternatives. Recently, we joined an engineering conference in Doha Qatar to help UN engineers develop plans to rebuild using compressed earth blocks. Now, with the help of the Free Gaza Flotilla, we would like to move forward and rebuild the Al Bahry family’s home at last.

This will be the 9th expedition undertaken by the Free Gaza Movement. Like the previous journeys, we expect some or all of the ships to be detained by the Israeli authorities (5 made it, 3 did not.) Please remember that the boats will be carrying humanitarian aid, will be fully inspected at the port of sail, and will be received by Non-Governmental Organizations in Gaza. We’ll soon be asking your help to contact Congress to request their endorsement of our shipment. Should the ships be detained, we’ll ask you to call them again to ask their staffers to urge free passage on your behalf.

I will be in touch in the next few days to decribe our rebuilding plans in detail.

Thank you again for your support and your continued trust, supporting our work to rebuild war-torn communities and make them safe.

Sincerely, Donna

P.S. I appreciate that you may have many questions -- send me email at dbw@RebuildingAlliance.org and I'll reply. I look forward to hearing from you.

Links:

Feb 25, 2010

Abir's Garden: Ready to Begin Building the New Playground

Dear Donors,

I am delighted to let you know that we are nearly ready to begin construction of this, the 2nd Abir’s Garden Playground. During my January visit to the West Bank and Israel, I met with both the Israeli and Palestinian Combatants for Peace coordinators to finalize our plans.

You may remember that when we began raising funds for this project in 2008, we planned to build the new playground at the Si’ir School for Girls, near Hebron. During my visit, I learned that the Si’ir Girls School had installed an outdoor stage instead of waiting for our promised playground. Bassam Aramin, co-founder of Combatants for Peace and Palestinian Coordinator, helped find a new site at another school, also near Hebron, that is in need of a playground. The landscape engineers will soon be meeting with the parents to select playground equipment and finalize the plans for the project.

“Combatants for Peace have decided to start the project in the Hebron area, in the West Bank village of Samoah – Simya. We have the perfect location, protected by a wall, and with more land. Combatants for Peace, both Palestinian and Israeli -- and internationals too -- can reach the area easily to help with construction. There are no playgrounds, no gardens in this area, so it’ll be great to build one in this village!” – Bassam Aramin, Palestinian Coordinator, Combatants for Peace

As soon as they order the playground equipment, Combatants for Peace will set the schedule for construction and bring together Israeli and Palestinian members to build. We hope you will join us there for the opening ceremony and encourage you to invite your elected officials!

Sincere thanks for all your help, Donna

P.S Site photos coming soon, followed by schedule.

Links:

Dec 1, 2009

Lights for Gaza Soccer -- please give today for GlobalGiving Matching Grant

Rachel Corrie Ramadan Soccer tournament
Rachel Corrie Ramadan Soccer tournament

Dear All who have supported our Beam of Light Soccer Intiative,

Today is the final day for GlobalGiving’s Give More Get More challenge. Please take a moment to make a donation to help complete our funding for the Beam of Light Soccer project.

From now until 11:59 Eastern Time, EVERY DONATION IS BEING MATCHED by GlobalGiving.com Please give now at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/lights-for-ramadan-soccer-tournament/

This project has been a small miracle in a time of great hardship and despair in Gaza. Your donation really mattered. When your gift was augmented by a small grant from a family foundation, amazingly, despite the blockade, the Rebuilding Alliance was able to successfully install the first unit of a community center in time for the Rachel Corrie Ramadan Soccer Tournament! The portable office unit included a transformer so we stretched our small grant to install lights along the walkway out to the field, and added new sand, fully levelled to improve the field! Cindy and Craig Corrie personally delivered gently used soccer uniforms. UNRWA cleared the rubble of demolished homes away from the perimeter of the field. We have YOU, our committed supporters, to thank! We hope the hundreds of donated shoes we collected will be allowed in on the next delegation – and we’ve received a seed grant to develop a creative strategy to get doors, wall cement, and windows into Gaza, for so that the soccer players from Ybnah camp can fix their neighborhood’s damaged homes.

How did this project get started?

Our commitment to Gaza began when we contacted the family whom Rachel Corrie sought to protect when she stood before the bulldozer that would demolish their home. The Rebuilding Alliance brought that family to the U.S., joining Craig and Cindy Corrie in a nationwide speaking tour – and we raised the funds we needed to rebuild their home. They and many others in Gaza who knew and cared about Rachel, formed themselves into the Rachel Corrie Sports Initiative to give back to the community.

This past December and January, when faced with the immense loss of life and destruction of Gaza neighborhoods, the Rebuilding Alliance put peacemakers in Gaza and peacemakers in Israel on the phone line, every three days, to tell hundreds of people across the U.S. and Europe what was happening, and brainstorm ways to help safeguard families in Gaza and in Sderot, Israel and make this stop.

When the assault ended, we listened hard to our friends at the Rachel Corrie Sports Initiative who said, "Start with Soccer" -- as soccer could immediately draw neighborhoods together to help heal the trauma that each person had experienced.

And so you did.

Please make another gift now to help us finish the “Beam of Light” project. The funds you donate will complete the lighting of the soccer field. Wooden posts, instead of steel, will keep costs down.

And your donation will extend a ripple effect of goodwill and healing where it is so deeply needed.

Please give now at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/lights-for-ramadan-soccer-tournament/

With Sincere Thanks, Donna

The little office unit including transformer
The little office unit including transformer
Hundreds of pairs of donated sports shoes
Hundreds of pairs of donated sports shoes
 

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