Beam of Light: Ramadan Soccer Tournament in Rafah

by Rebuilding Alliance
Al Aqaba schoolchildren with their origami
Al Aqaba schoolchildren with their origami

Thank you so much for your past support of Rebuilding Alliance's workl We've used every dollar donated to remarkable results. I ask for your help once again.

In just a few hours time, GlobalGiving will match by 30% every dollar donated, up to $1000. They have $100,000 to give away in just 24hrs on Wednesday Oct. 19th, Eastern Time.

We need your help to rebuild Palestinian homes, schools, playgrounds, libraries.  Please go to and click Donate Now.  This time we are focusing on "Rebuilding to Remain" in the West Bank's Area C.  We start there -- I promise, I'll do my best to bring it to Gaza too.

Please donate as early in the day as you can, before the funds run out.

Questions, suggestions? Please call me at 650-325-4663.

P.S. Your donation, large or small, really matters. GlobalGiving is providing a grant to the project with the most donors, and also a grant to the project that raises the most donations. We can do it... last time Rebuilding Alliance came in second. This time, help us to win!

P.P.S. One of our earlier GG Match projects helped create housing for teachers in Al Aqaba village. Here are photos of the Japanese teacher who came this past Sunday to give the children an overview of Japan!

Sushi in Al Aqaba! Teacher Yuhki Ohnogi from Japan
Sushi in Al Aqaba! Teacher Yuhki Ohnogi from Japan


Dear Donors,

Yesterday morning I had the chance to speak with Khaled Nasrallah, co-founder of the Rachel Corrie Sports Initiative (RCSI). He informed me that all fencing behind the goals on the Unity Club Soccer Field has been completed.

When I asked if there were any other opportunities to use the money raised through Beams of Light, he explained that RCSI will now be hosting the Rachel Corrie Soccer Tournament on a different soccer field every year. This year it will be held at the Rafah refugee camp called “Block O.” More than half of the homes in “Block O” were demolished from 2000 to 2005 because it was right next to the Israeli Army’s guard tower and a major gate called the Falahadin Gate.

The community finds recovery through soccer! Khaled explained that people, especially the young, gather in a café in camp, near a makeshift field to watch the European soccer games. The café though isn’t like a Starbucks, though. It is made from the rubble of demolished homes. Then they go out to play soccer themselves.  He promises to send pictures.

Khaled said it was really important to give families of this neighbor a safe place to play. He felt there are several opportunities that are a close match for this project:

  • Provide play equipment for the playground next to the soccer field; or
  • Resurface and level the soccer field, making it softer and safer for tournament play

I asked RCSI to email Rebuilding Alliance a plan and a budget for one of these projects, which I will present it to the Rebuilding Alliance Board of Directors. Once we have his proposal, we will modify the Beams of Light: Ramadan Soccer Tournament in Rafah project.  

I want to thank you again for all of your help.  You have supported infrastructure for an amazing initiative that has brought the youth of Gaza together to play ball! I look forward to being in touch soon.

Donna  Baranski-Walker
Founder and Executive Director

P.S.  Just to recap, we accomplished many things above and beyond the original goals of this grant:

  • Through a separate grant, we installed a portable office building at the Unity Club Soccer Field as the first step in creating a community center.   We used a portion of the funds that you donated to pay for a generator delivered with the portable building, as a generator was cited in our original quote for lighting;
  • We used your grant to level the playing field – literally!—and installed lighting for the walkway to the field; and
  • When the Unity Club requested fencing behind the goals (to keep the ball from bouncing into the tunnel area), instead of lighting for night-games, we explained their request to you and forwarded our grant to meet their goal (please see last report to explain why we agreed to fencing instead of lighting).

In the process, Rebuilding Alliance collected hundreds of gently worn soccer shoes and uniforms, learning a lot about the full dimensions of the blockade in the process.  We also help the Rachel Corrie Sports Initiative install a playground at the Unity Club Soccer Field, and spent countless hours working through the details of project development. When those who knew Rachel Corrie decided to clear the rubble of their demolished

Metal Net already installed behind one goal
Metal Net already installed behind one goal

Greetings everyone!

I bring you big news concerning Beam of Light project at the Unity Youth Field Soccer field. As always, I would like to thank you for your generous donations that have made this project possible. I am writing to update you on the current status of the project and a necessary change in course for the initiative.

Through your support, our initiative, Beam of Light: Ramadan Soccer Tournament in Rafah, has already installed a generator along with a temporary field office at the soccer field, lights along the walkway to the field, and sand to level the field. In addition to your and the Rebuilding Alliance’s efforts, the Rachel Corrie Sports Initiative (RCSI) was able to add a children’s beach play field next to the main soccer field and a metal net behind one of the goals on the soccer field (see photos).

We recently received an important request from the RCSI board and residents in the Yebnah community.  They asked us to change the plans to add lights for night games. The Israeli Army has not stopped bombing the tunnel area along the border with Egypt.  I am attaching a recent Oxfam report on the situation in Gaza to provide more information.

Our soccer field is also along the border strip, not far from the tunnels. The parents want their children home at night, as far away from the tunnel area as possible. So instead of lights for night games, they proposed using the funds to install a metal net behind the other goal and provided a budget accordingly. These metal nets will keep the ball and the young people away from the tunnel area.

The Rebuilding Alliance earnestly agrees with this request and has transferred $3,170 to our fiscal partner, Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, accordingly.  We’ll update the project description accordingly.   Feel free to add you comment and questions by clicking on the comment button below. Also, you can contact me at the Rebuilding Alliance via phone at (650) 325-4663 or by email at

As always, your support for this project means you stand with this determined group who clears the field from debris and gives young people, and the community, a place to recover and play! We at the Rebuilding Alliance whole heartily thank you for your whole heartedness.


Donna Baranski-Walker
Founder and Executive Director of the Rebuilding Alliance,

This huge net keeps ball away from tunnels
This huge net keeps ball away from tunnels
The other goal needs a net too!
The other goal needs a net too!
Young people play soccer every day
Young people play soccer every day

Unity Club Soccer Field
Unity Club Soccer Field

Dear Friends, We have just sent your most recent generous donations to our partners in Gaza. If all goes well, new lights will be installed before the end of Ramadan on September 9th, and before the end of the Rachel Corrie Ramadan Soccer Tournament. We will keep you updated!

Below is a photograph of Rebuilding Alliance volunteer Kate Gould with UNRWA social worker Khaled Nasrallah, standing in front of the Unity Club soccer field. In the background, you can see the portable unit the Rebuilding Alliance helped build to launch the Yebna Charitable Society community center.

Even with the new additions of lights, the field will not be fully lit, so there will be more work to do before the next Ramadan, and the next Rachel Corrie Ramadan Soccer tournament!

Thanks for all your support, and stay in touch!

Dear Donors, The past weeks have been both tragic and remarkable ones. The attack on the flotilla shocked, angered, and saddened people all over the world. The Rebuilding Alliance sent materials on one boat in the flotilla, the MV Rachel Corrie, as part of our More Than Chocolates for Gaza campaign. We are working hard pressure the U.S. government to assure delivery of those materials.

Meanwhile, the people of Gaza wait for the blockade to be lifted.

There are things we can do to bring hope in the meantime. We can bring light.

Ramadan is coming again, and early. During Ramadan, people come outside to be with one another and celebrate at night, after the fast is over for the day. With your help, we have furnished the soccer field in Rafah with some lights for playing at night, but not enough yet. The field needs more light! Keep up the good work and the much appreciated donations.


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Organization Information

Rebuilding Alliance

Location: Burlingame, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Donna Baranski-walker
Executive Director
Palo Alto, CA United States

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Thanks to 184 donors like you, a total of $6,794 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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