Living in the South Hebron Hills is defined by insecurity. A dedicated social worker who can travel to the 30+ rural villages is vital because she can assess and address what help is needed. Whether encountering women suffering from domestic violence or home demolitions, or children bullied at school, a trusted social worker with roots in the community can understand how the ongoing trauma of the occupation is intertwined with other problems and can respond quickly.
The Israeli military issues demolition orders to homes, cisterns, roads, clinics, and schools because they refuse to issue building permits to Palestinians in Area C. With few exceptions, the army won't allow connection to the electrical grid or water system even when Israeli settlements nearby have access. Demolitions are now enacted with only 96-hour notice. None has ever been overturned, yet it's still possible to safeguard and empower this community.
Social worker Fatma is our trusted partner and cofounder of the Rural Women's Association of the South Hebron Hills. The need for her work compelled us to pay her out of RA's unrestricted funds. We ask your help to cover her pay and extend a car loan with reasonable terms. She can then continue to travel safely to villages and set up a tent for those who seek her help. One-on-one counseling puts her in touch with the needs of poverty-stricken families who are otherwise ignored.
Palestinian social workers have the unique challenge of dealing with trauma both inside the community and from Israeli occupation. They bring challenges of society forward through personal engagement and advocacy. Bringing resources together at the right time makes all the difference, and in time, each success becomes a model for others to follow. As this project grows, Fatma can begin to hire other social workers to serve more children and families throughout the area.
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