After the blizzard, your support helped us get back on our roofs again!
Dear donor to our rooftop gardens project!
This short message is to let you know our appreciation of your support and to inform you of the progress made. Originally this project page was established to collect additional funding for three women who needed to create extra covering around their rooftop garden for the winter season. Soon after the first donations were given we did construct a greenhouse with two of the women, which allowed them to continue working on their roofs while the weather was turning colder. Karama showed you these results in the pictures uploaded on our Global Giving account and the women were frequently on their roofs, expecting harvest from green beans, lettuce, zuccini and tomatoes.
Halfway December however, Palestine was struck by a very heavy snow storm – something that took everybody by surprise and came as a change from the normal winter season. Three days of heavy snowfall and several days of cold wind and no electricity resulted in the complete destruction of most gardens. The green beans and zuccini plants that were growing up in the air supported by ropes, came down together with the construction that covered the tubes with plastic. Though many efforts were undertaken by the participants to save some of their work, only a few plants survived this storm.
After we informed you about this tragedy, you were so generous to support our project and help us get back on our roof! You funds have been used to place a stronger metal frame with 2 of the women involved and help others rearrange their garden again. Not all gardens have been replanted yet, due to lack of funds as well as hestitation with some women to start again while the weather is still cold. The plastic should provide enough protection during the winter, so it is our aim to help everybody plant again in the coming month. In that way the women will be able to overcome the loss from this winter and regain their confidence.
Seeing the harvest getting destroyed and starting from zero again is not easy. But the families showed resilience throughout the whole storm, that left most in the cold without electricity for several days. And with your help we can now already post you the pictures with the first sings of restoration! The women notice again that the soil will continue to provide and plants will start to grow again.. thus it is our aim to use these resources. Our roofs, soil and resilience are important assets that we should use for our community's benefit, no matter the setbacks we experience. This projects allows these women in Deheishe to practice their steadfastness and we look forward to their sure reward - the harvest and a positive incentive for their whole family.
Thank you for being part of this initiative!
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.
Yasser Alhaj - director of Karama Organization
Maybe you saw the images on the news; an unexpected heavy snow storm was raging over Palestine and other parts of the Middle East in the past days. Several centimetres of snow, low temperatures and hard wind caused roads to be blocked, electricity to shut down and forced many people to stay in their houses. Many children here in Deheishe had some very colds days, as their families were unable to heat their houses or cook.
For Karama Organization the storm brought a double disaster. The snowfall caused several of the greenhouses to break down, destroying most of the vegetables and the constructions. In the low temperatures none of the plants could survive without protection, meaning that all but one woman have lost all of their harvest. Although everybody did all they could to protect the greenhouses just recently constructed, there was so much snow falling in the nights that we could not do enough. All our energy, time and investment from donors was greatly damaged in just a few hours.
This great setback however cannot keep us down. Now the sky cleared up, the women are already cleaning their roofs and preparing for a new turn. Karama volunteers have started to rebuild some of the gardens, but we do really need your support for this! If only 50 of our supporters would donate a small amount before the coming holidays, Karama would be able to fund a great deal of the reparations!
Dear Karama Supporters!
With this small report we are eager to give you an update on the progress made in the last weeks. Several of you have reached out to us and showed your support – either through donating or asking about the progress. We at Karama really appreciate your help and your efforts to stay in touch – thank you so much! Hopefully this small note – and especially the photos – will keep you connected to our efforts in Deheishe and the work we are trying to do in our society. Do not hesitate to let us know what you think – email, Facebook responses and comments on GlobalGiving will be read by us!
At the end of October we started a new fundraising campaign to create a better protected shield around three rooftop gardens. The plants of these women were more affected by the wind and this experience made Karama realize the gardens could be much for efficient when the cover works as a green house. The previous winter, which normally starts here in December, saw less growth in the gardens than we had hoped. How could we improve this, was the question in our organization. The price of vegetables is often rising in the winter months. Especially this year, as farmers experienced worse weather conditions leading to less harvest, the price of daily used vegetables like tomatoes have again gone up.