Karama means Dignity in Arabic. The organization was established in 2002 as a non-governmental organisation situated in Deheishe Refugee Camp, Bethlehem in the West Bank. The organization works independently and is not affiliated with any political party or movement.
Since the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000 the inhabitants of the camp have been surrounded by an environment of violence, devastation, poverty, hatred and despair. The Palestinian economy, already suffering tremendously from the ongoing road blockades, restrictions and curfews, was worsened due to the second Intifada. As a result of the Intifada, Israel adopted the policy of eliminating potential enemies of the Israeli state, killing thousands of innocent civilians and destroying their homes. In addition to this they suffer from collective punishment, persecution, vigorous integration at checkpoints making daily life unbearable. Some of the repercussions include unemployment, loss of trade and no means to support their families.
The occupation has negatively impacted every Palestinian's life, with children suffering some of the worst effects. They have lost feelings of hope, happiness and peace. Moreover, these children grow up without the privileges of gardens, playgrounds, libraries and youth centres. This results in them having to be confined to their small living spaces as the streets of Deheishe have no space for fun.
In these adverse circumstances Karama's centre in Deheishe Refugee Camp is considered as an oasis which provides a safe haven for women, children and adolescents offering them support and services to excel in many fields. These range from counselling and education to cultural awareness.
Karama's centre is open seven days a week from 9 am to 7 pm, sometimes even longer. The aim is to stimulate young people and to work with adolescents. They are encouraged to discuss topics revolving around human rights, freedom, diversity and leadership. On average sixty children come to Karama on a daily basis taking part in activities, games and workshops of their choice. Volunteers and tutors are present to guide participants and provide them with direction. We welcome international visitors and volunteers in our center to learn about Palestine and volunteer in Palestine.
However, these activities are limited by the lack of adequate space and funds, with staff often compromising supplies due to money shortages. Within our building are two small administration offices and three rooms in which various projects occur simultaneously.
Karama Organization is an accepted Partner on Global Giving, a worldwide fundraising website. Since 2013 Karama is listed as a Superstar organization reflecting its financially and organizational sounds practices and high impact of every donation. Donations through Global Giving can be made safe and easy (credit cards and Paypal is accepted), while other methods for donating directly to Karama also exist - contact us for more information.
Karama Key Documents