This morning, we heard some wonderful news from Ramallah. Since 1996, a group of residents have been waiting for the approval of their application to launch a Rotary Club. Finally, the Ramallah Rotary Club was chartered in the spring, and was presented to the 30,000 rotarians present at the International Rotary Conference in Montreal.
What does this have to do with the Birthing Center that you are helping us to build? Everything.
The Ramallah Rotary Club has approved our plans for the first Palestinian Birthing Center in Area C, to be built in Al Aqaba, and will join us in raising funds.
This is a huge roadblock that we have crossed. The Rotary partnership is one essential piece of completing this project. Due to its ambitious scope, we could not raise the funds for the center from individuals or rotary clubs alone. Both are necessary, and the Rotary network brings a great deal of opportunity forward.
Executive Director of the Rebuilding Alliance, Donna Baranski-Walker comments:
"Because Rotary is involved, we are bringing the proposal forward at clubs throughout California, and to add the Ramallah club to the list is a great joy. There is considerable bravery on all sides, because the the Rotary Club of Nazareth is welcomed by Al Aqaba and all involved as a strong supporter in the project. It's taken a year and a half to bring this all together, and we are delighted to give many communities the opportunity to help."
Though we still need your help, and have a lot of work ahead of us, this development is heartening, especially now. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the resumption of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. We have seen these peace talks before, and we must remember now that talking is not enough. We have to build together to really make peace. And to pursue a building project so essential for women's health in Area C, where demolitions of Palestinian homes continue, is all the more important. Much of Area C is the Jordan River Valley, and the Birthing Center in Al Aqaba is nestled there. It not only provides a vehicle of health, but a way for Palestinians to
Join us in celebrating the new Rotary Club of Ramallah, our new partnership, and a path to move forward with the Birthing Center!