It has now been nearly five years since Rebuilding Alliance announced our project entitled, “Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign, Gaza 2nd Home.” Reluctantly, after trying many ways to send building supplies to Gaza, we are sad to report that this project is being deactivated.
We opened this project and introduced you to the Al Bahry family after we successfully completed construction of a home for the Nasrallah family, the family whom the late Rachel Corrie stood to protect as she stood before the bulldozer that threatened their home. Our founding board members, Cindy and Craig Corrie, met with the Al Bahry family personally following the demolition of their home in Northern Gaza.
So why are we closing this project before it was fully funded? Certainly the blockade of Gaza deeply impacted our ability to purchase building materials in Gaza. We tried every route to no avail with test shipments via Egypt, by meeting with Israeli Peace groups in S’derot to ask their help in purchasing and sending building supplies, and by sending supplies aboard the M.V. Rachel Corrie last year in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. We actively sought diplomatic assistance too and we did our best to engage creative know-how at a conference in Doha Qatar focused on building without cement or steel.
Though we did our best to fundraise, so far we’ve met only 16% of our $47,000 goal. When the scale of demolitions grew much worse in 2009 with Israel’s invasion of Gaza called “Cast Lead,” we sought our partners’ advice. The continuing siege of Gaza barred even the most common building supplies. Our partners at Gaza Community Mental Health Programme told us that the Al Bahry family was managing as best they could — others were in far greater need. Our friends who knew Rachel Corrie in Gaza advised we turn our attention to something doable, tangible, and immediate: help surface the playing fields and provide a club house for the Rachel Corrie Soccer Tournament in Rafah, Gaza to give the Ybnah Camp neighborhood a way to recover from the trauma of Cast Lead. We raised funds and met those goals.
I am not giving up on our commitment to help Gaza families rebuild in memory of Rachel Corrie. I am not giving up on the remarkable families I have come to know through our Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign in Gaza — I hold their trust and yours with care.
Funds raised since 2007 will now be reallocated to Rebuilding Alliance’s Rebuilding to Remain program. This program provides a breakthrough crowd-source mortgage financing to rebuild whole neighborhoods, starting with 30 homes in Al Aqaba village in the West Bank where Rebuilding Alliance built the kindergarten. This is a village in which 97% of the structures are under demolition order. Success there will open the West Bank’s Area C to Palestinian rebuilding and lay the foundation to bring our Rebuilding to Remain construction finance and advocacy program to Gaza families.
If you would rather that your donation be applied toward another Rebuilding Alliance project or another project on GlobalGiving, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org by December 31st.
I realize my message may raise questions and I am happy to answer them. Please feel free to give me a call at 1-650-325-4663.