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About Our Organization

Story About Us
Where it all began

Introduction

Dignity is not only the meaning of the word Karama; it is the purpose why Karama was established: to uphold the dignity of the Palestinian refugees. A group of locals started in 2002 as a non-governmental organization located in Deheishe refugee camp in Bethlehem, Palestine. It is now an independent entity, not affiliated with any political parties with linkages, friends and donors from all over the world.

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How Karama Organization started.

Since the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000 Palestinians in 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. The occupying state of Israel continued its polices of eliminating any thing and any one they claim to be a potential threat, killing thousands of innocent civilians and destroying their homes. In addition to this, Palestinians 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 significantly worsened the living conditions in Palestine precisely in refugee camps, aside to physical harm including the economy, all sectors of health, employment, tourism, factories, agriculture and business . The occupation leaves a daily bruise and mark on the emotional and psychological state of every child, woman and man.
Children are born amidst sounds of home demolishes, gunshots, and house raids. They are born into their traumas, something not easy to let go, because it is always there, everyday a new land is confiscated, another child is murdered and another house is wiped out.
Refugee children have lost feelings of hope, happiness and peace. These children grow up without the privileges of gardens, playgrounds, libraries and youth centers. This results in them having to be confined to their small living spaces as the streets of refugee camps have no safe space for children.
In these hostile circumstances Karama’s center in Deheishe Refugee Camp has started and is now considered an oasis which provides a safe haven for women, children and adolescents offering them support and services to excel in many fields of education entrepreneurship and empowerment.
Karama set them as its main goals and fields of work to respond to the daily challenges of Palestinian refugees especially women and children in the refugee camp who are of the most marginalized groups that have been affected from the critical living conditions.
Since then the number of NGO’s working for refugees has increased significantly. Many established for the sole purpose of providing projects to help the refugee community. However, some have taken advantage of the crisis for personal gain. Harming the reputation of many other, NGO’s that showed a clear record.
Part of the reason why Karama was established is a reaction to these NGO’s, to prove that real projects can be done to directly benefit refugees with no personal gains. A group of 6 people cooperated together and started Karama. In a very humble office Karama started to plant and reinforce the basic values of the Palestinian community through sustainable projects that benefits refugee families especially women and children.

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Our Projects are a safe haven, XXX.

Women Projects [link to page 4.2]
Women make up the backbone families in the Palestinian society. They have significant influence on their partners and families. Women affect the improvement of their families and children. Therefore, empowering women is a means for empowering community. They are the change leaders and the influence makers.
Nonetheless, women suffer many challenges in their lives in the Palestinian society, especially in refugee camps. Despite their high tendency for employment and to high enrollment rates in universities, women suffer from lower employment rates, aside to being in an environment where there a few but not enough women leaders or entrepreneurs to set an encouraging example for other women. The occupations hinders the development of the entire Palestinian society, the effect on women is doubled with other social restrictions.
Karama is working to provide alternatives to this situation by training, educating and supporting women. In order to increase women’s contributions in the society, Karama offers educational programs about their role. We want to raise women’s awareness of social and political issues on one hand and to support and train women in entrepreneurship and empowerment programs on the other.

Children Projects [link to page 4.3]
Children currently represent 65% of the overall population of Deheishe refugee camp.Most children in the refugee camp are enrolled in the UNRWA schools. Despite efforts to improving the situation, the educational process is deprived and incomplete (low level of education, more than 45 students in one classroom, not enough classrooms, insufficient teaching aids). Moreover, with low income rates parents cannot supply necessary needs for children. As a result, children either leave school or are forced to work in order to help in providing for the family.
There is a severe lack of playgrounds or youth services to accommodate the rising number of children. The only available area for them are the streets, which are narrow and dangerous and not a place to play. Thus, they are in a strong need for a safe space where they can reaffirm their childhood and participate in activities that stimulate their talents and creativity.
Food Security and Social Entrepreneurship: [link to page 4.4]
At the same time we equip business women with the knowledge about social impact and measuring social goals, XXX.

Emergency Programs [link to page 4.5]:
Life in the camp is faced with different challenges on the daily. Karama holds itself responsible for responding to any occurring emergencies that affect our community. The team is always prepared for urgent emergency plans responding to any small or big crisis. These include winter emergencies including providing warm clothes and food. Construction and maintenance when needed for any of the houses or centers, continues aid programs including, food parcels and medical aid. MENTION COVID19.