| Jan 8, 2014
Education must continue during the UNRWA strike!
Deheishe Refugee Camp
Dear friends of Karama,
All the volunteers at Karama Organization hope you started the year with great expectations and many new plans for the coming time. Unfortunately, over 5200 children in Deheishe Refugee Camp have started this year with very little prospects. Not only do they carry the presence of the Israeli occupation and the worsening financial situation of their families, but they also entered 2014 without being able to go back to school. With this letter we call upon our friends, previous volunteers and supporters to join Karama’s efforts to provide the children this basic human right of education.
The main provider of education and health services to the Palestinian refugees, the UNRWA, is in conflict with the Workers Union over employment and salary policies. This has led to a general strike of UNRWA staff since the 2nd of December 2013, closing schools, health centres and aid distribution offices in the 19 refugee camps across the West Bank. More than 52,200 children in the West Bank are currently without formal education, spending their days outside or in the limited space available in their homes. The fact that many of them are out on the streets and without the structure provided by the schools has already led to several social and behavioural problems. But they also miss out on the chance to learn and improve important skills like reading, writing and maths.
To challenge this situation which is likely to continue for a prolonged period, Karama Organization teamed up with some of the teachers to create an alternative educational setting. Especially the youngest grades will fall behind greatly in their development if they will not attend classes for another month. Karama will therefore host the children in our community centre and teach them in the most crucial subjects like Arabic and Maths. Karama Organization has very good relations with the UNRWA schools and teachers in the camp and has experience with providing remedial classes for the students both in the schools and in our community centre. This makes Karama a very important player to fill in the gap that is now created through the dispute.
However, to be able to host the children we need to turn the available rooms into classrooms where students can sit and write properly. This means we will have to construct wooden benches to serve as tables and purchase chairs. Also we will have to compensate the teachers and social workers that will work with the children and provide some paper and colouring materials. People familiar with our work know we depend on donations from our supporters for the projects we are undertaking in society. We are trying to make the most of all the limited resources we have at our disposal, but in order to really make a difference in the camp we need to increase our capacity.
Just on the first day since we announced this project in society, over 60 children entered our community centre to participate in the classes for the first grade. With your help we would be able to receive more children and give them their most basic right; a place to learn. Neither the occupation nor the policies of the UNRWA should leave these children without education so we hope you will join our efforts to provide them this basic service!
If you have any inquires about other ways of donating or supporting our project please contact our organization through email@example.com. We invite you to reach out to our team if you have any questions and share this message among family and friends!
Thank you very much for your attention for the Palestinian situation, your support makes a real difference for the children in Deheishe.
Director Karama Organization
PS: you can also find our organization on Facebook http://tiny.cc/vx5c9w and at www.karama.org
Karama Palestine / DEHEISHE REFUGEE CAMP / BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK / PALESTINE T: 00972-2275-1313 / 00972 5990-33021 I: www.karama.org E: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com