Some of the activities - with only Deheishe kids
This a final update at the end of the summer about the activities Karama Organization held in the last months. Our previous update in August reflected on the difficult situation at that time in Palestine, where violence spread throughout the West Bank and Gaza. Even in a conflict situation like here in Palestine, war always come unexpected. Every time violence flares up we realize again we all got silently accustomed to the status quo - be it at different levels...
The war naturally impacted all Palestinians, but particularly the continuation of our projects. The original plan for the summer camps was to let two groups of children from different locations meet and interact. The camps would focus on getting to know each other, the stories other children have to tell and creative expressions for our stories. The two localities involved are Deheishe Refugee Camp and the village Khirbet Zakaria, that is located between Hebron and Bethlehem surrounded by Jewish-only settlements. Khirbet Zakaria knows a high level of isolation and a lack of services, making this connection with youth from Deheishe unique and relevant.
Due to the tensions all over Palestine, it was in general very difficult to travel in the West Bank and specifically dangerous to travel in the particular project area between Hebron and Bethlehem. Settler violence and occupying army raids were frequently occurring while the Jewish-only settlements all over the West Bank where also under attack. These reasons combined, Karama staff deemed it not safe to arrange regular trips between the two localities. This means the summer exchange could not be organized. We did held summer activities only in Deheishe Camp, where the community center and adjacent grass field were filled with laughter and playful youth.
Now the schools have been started and tensions have declined, Karama is committed to follow up with the project goals but in a different form than planned. Instead of a 10 day long summer camp, we will spread the meetings and activities over 10 weekend days and afternoons. This will still enable meetings and interaction between the two youth groups and work towards our established goals. The planning is to hold the meetings between October and December this year.
The destruction in Gaza is still great and we need more efforts to go to the rebuilding of people’s homes, schools and lives. We are thankful for everybody who supports the Palestinian people to fulfill their rights; their right to a safe home as well as freedom of education, meeting and travel throughout their homecounty. Thank you for believing in our project goals and we are committed to show you about our activities in the coming months through our website and our channels.
Warm regards from the whole Karama Team.
The map below shows the project area. Palestinian villages are in brown, Jewish-only settlements illegally built on Palestinian land are in blue. The village Khirbet Zakaria (called Khallet Sakariya on the map) is surrounded left of the middle of the map by blue areas like Elazar, Efrat, Alon Shvut, Bat Ayin and Rosh Tzurim. The village can only be reached by a road going through these Jewish-only areas which represents a sometimes dangerous undertaking for the Palestinians. Deheishe Camp (called a-Duheisheh R.C. on the map) is at the north of the map, just south of the city of Bethlehem in brown.
Enjoying the summer - in Deheishe Camp
Bethlehem in the North, Settlements in Blue