Annual IPMN Grants
Announcing 2014 Recipients
As the Grants Committee members, we are very pleased to announce the grants, which were approved at the Annual Meeting of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network on October 25th. These grants will be made available around the end of this year. We are gratified this year to have had more applications for these grants than in previous years. All together we had 11 applications, one of which was not finalized and another of which arrived too late to be considered. In the end, we actively reviewed and made granting decisions on nine applications. We finally determined we would give six grants, none of which was the total amount requested.
The grants for this year will go to the following organizations:
1. YWCA of Palestine for the project, “Enhancing the Psychosocial Well Being of Youth and Promoting Civic Engagement.” The Y has had a distinguished reputation in Palestine for nearly 100 years and has much to show for its many endeavors throughout its long history. This particular project is to enhance the psychosocial well-being of youth, especially young women, and engage them in civic and social processes as equal citizens within the Palestinian community. This program will involve 100 youth from Ramallah Governorate and the Jalazoune Refugee Camp from July, 2014, to December, 2016. Grant $4,000
2. Kreutz Creek Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, PA, requested a grant for Noor Women Empowerment Group, which provides support and assistance to refugee women. The women of this group seek to become proficient in English language skills and business practices in order to manage independently a home business that assists them in supporting their children, some of whom are disabled. This is a grassroots, economically-independent project created by and for Palestinian refugee women living in the Aida and Al-Azzeh refugee camps in Bethlehem. It is a group of 13 women which began in 2010 and is supported by several international volunteers. Noor WEG offers cooking classes to tourists and foreigners in the Bethlehem area as well as home-stays in refugee camps. The grant will be used to enhance English skills, increase skills for record-keeping using the Excel computer system, and improve marketing techniques. Grant: $2,000 (would include the purchase of a computer)
3. American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem requested funds on behalf of the Mothers and Children’s Program of the Princess Basma Center in East Jerusalem. The grant will provide a scholarship for one mother and child to attend a residential program which enables mothers to be trained to care for their disabled children. In this program the mothers receive emotional support, tools and techniques for addressing their children’s specific needs, and ongoing opportunities for continued growth. They learn to support their children in developing to their full potential, thereby improving the chances that their children can function independently in society in the future. Grant: $2,700
4. The Seraj Library Project in Chicago has developed libraries in the Occupied Territories since 2005, providing children with books, computers and other resources not available to them in the public schools. These libraries have also become community centers where adults can have meetings when not being used by the children. There has been involvement of community leaders in each village which has been approved for one of these libraries. It costs approximately $50,000 for each library, and IPMN is being asked to contribute computers to the new library serving the villages of Burham and Jibia (15 km north of Ramallah and 4 km northwest of Birzeit.) Grant: $2,100 (for three computers)
5. The Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People located in Beit Sahour (near Bethlehem) sent in an application for a project called, “Young Advocates Program.” A similar program existed in the past, but it had to be terminated because of a lack of funding. This project is focused on enhancing communication skills for young Palestinians, introducing them to civic society and democratic values, promoting the commitment to non-violence in resolving conflict, and increasing their knowledge of human rights and history as well as current issues in the Palestinian Society. In the end, the students will be able to take leadership in being in communication with various groups of youth throughout the Middle East and beyond, either in person or by videos and social media networks. Grant: $1,500
6. The Vision Association for Culture and Arts sought funds to provide a summer school for Palestinian children in Bethany. There is very little in the way of the arts being taught in the public schools in Bethany because of the lack of funding; therefore VACA has, for 10 years, provided summer school in which the children are exposed to the arts. The focus in 2015 will be “Artistic Resistance” to strengthen the ability of the children to resist, through the arts, the difficult and depressing atmosphere created by the occupation. It will also create a more positive vision for their futures. One-hundred children from the ages of 6-15 years will benefit from this program. There are two components to the program, including daily lessons to teach them the basic skills of music and art and a summer trip which will allow the children to play in a nature setting and to meet new friends from another city. Grant: $2,000 (primarily for the summer trip)
As mentioned above, none of these organizations received the full amount that they requested for their projects. If you would like to make an additional contribution to one or more of these projects, please be in touch with Linda Brebner at email@example.com. The grant applications for next year will be available on the IPMN website by mid-April. We would appreciate your encouraging organizations working on behalf of justice and peace for Palestinians to apply for a grant in 2015.
In addition to the grants listed above, the IPMN Steering Committee (SC) authorized a $5000.00 gift to the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza in August. Al Ahli Hospital is operated by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and is committed to providing the finest medical care possible under the most adverse circumstance. It cares for the marginalized and vulnerable poor whose livelihood is threatened by the effect of human-made disaster; it pays special attention to the refugees and the poorest of the poor.
This brings the total grants for 2014 to nearly $20,000. At the end of the year, the SC will look to see if there are funds yet available to share with the projects listed above. We continue working to return to being able to share one-third of our budget with grant recipients, one-third with PC(USA) mission personnel on the ground in I/P and one-third towards our programming of education, advocacy and administrative expenses.
Many thanks to those who participated in our annual campaign. Your gifts enabled these grants.
The IPMN Grants Committee
Linda Brebner (chair)
Seraj Library Project