NEWS ARCHIVE – SEPTEMBER 2015
SUPPORT OUR TENTH ANNIVERSARY WITH MUSIC FOR PEACE
Our tenth anniversary theme is Music for Peace. We will be raising funds for creative and cultural centres in Israel and Palestine including the Edward Said Music Conservatoire in Gaza, Beit al-Musica and the Arab-Jewish Youth Orchestra in Israel.
Children of Peace eBay Shop
We’ve just opened our new eBay shop and this December we plan to hold an auction of rare and collectible items donated by our celebrity supporters. Please look out for it.
Our lead story is deeply moving. In partnership with Children of Peace, affiliate Humans Without Borders brought dozens of sick and disadvantaged landlocked Palestinian children and their families to experience an unforgettable day at the seaside. It makes all our hard work over ten years so worthwhile to see the children so happy.
In other news the distinguished actress Emily Watson OBE joins us as a Friend; Earth Caravan affiliates within our Coalition of Peace. And our regular contributor Dalia Al-Najjar – writes about her life in her Letter from Gaza. This August, one of Trustees Antonia Leslie spent several weeks on a field trip to Israel and Palestine. Her report highlights the importance of our work against a background of seemingly unending regional conflict. Dominic Martin looks at our successful London 10K Run. Michael Regan – our fundraiser – writes in appreciation of our recent grant from Lush, the UK retail chain. This will help us in our support for women’s empowerment groups in Israel and Palestine.
Our Interview this issue is with Tori Egherman, an American activist and journalist. She was one of two bloggers at View from Iran, and has also written about Iran for Tehran Bureau on The Guardian and Global Voices.
Sharing our tenth anniversary along with our many thousands of supporters worldwide are our Patrons, Friends and Ambassadors who send their greetings.
See their… GREETINGS
Reaching our tenth anniversary, we have much to be proud of. Please continue to help us to help the children.
Please… DONATE NOW
Richard Martin, President & Founder.
THE SEASIDE PROJECT 2015
Our research has shown that Palestinian children in the landlocked West Bank dream of visiting the seaside.
On August 5 2015, our affiliate Humans Without Borders brought 57 sick and disadvantaged Palestinian children and 30 parents to the seaside, supported by a Children of Peace grant.
Below, one of the organisers Larry Lester tells us about that magical and memorable day.
See too the full video clip here on YouTube. It was produced and edited by Maayan Selma. For which we thank her sincerely.
ANTONIA LESLIE’S VISIT TO THE REGION
- Humans without Borders in Jerusalem, who coordinate a large number of Israeli volunteers using their own cars to ferry Palestinian families with severely ill children from checkpoints to good hospitals in Israel. It was a humbling experience accompanying one of the volunteers (a lovely lady called Hadassah) picking up a little Palestinian boy, Amil, and his father to take him for kidney dialysis which he needs to survive. Without her help and the help of other volunteers the journey would be impossible for Amil and his father to make every day.
- Hope Flowers School in Bethlehem, a wonderful school run by the inspirational Ibrahim Issa, surrounded by settlements, fearful of land eviction, but determinedly continuing its important work offering Palestinian children a good education, as well as much needed occupational and trauma therapy. Term had not yet started but walking around the cheerfully painted school building I could feel what a sanctuary it must be for children living in the area.
- Rabbis for Human Rights, who run summer schools and improve classroom facilities for children in impoverished refugee Bedouin communities in the West Bank. I went to visit some of the villages where the schools are cheerful but makeshift. Unfortunately, I just missed seeing the summer schools (which Children of Peace supported with a grant this summer), but I got the impression they made a big difference to these children who really have very little.
- The Arab-Jewish Community Center in Tel Aviv – a thriving, growing activity centre (the only public one in Israel) to promote and actively encourage Arab-Jewish tolerance for children and adults. It sounded like they have a big impact in Tel Aviv; hopefully they might influence other centres to open and an ethos of mutual respect to ripple throughout the region.
I believe it is especially important to protect, educate and open the hearts of children living in a world full of sniper towers, walls, distrust and fear. Seeing for myself a diverse range of incredible affiliates, all striving in their own way towards the same goal (greater peace, stability and happiness in this troubled land), made me glad that Children of Peace exists to help each and every one of them. Long may their admirable efforts continue.
OUR COALITION OF PEACE
… is a unique peace network with affiliates on every continent, and especially in Gaza, Israel, Jordan, the West Bank and Turkey.
LEADING BRITISH ACTRESS EMILY WATSON JOINS AS FRIEND
All the children in Israel and Palestine deserve to live in peace and security, free from the uncertainties of conflict and random acts of violence. Children of Peace is an important place of safety for the children and their message is one we all need to hear to bring about the change everyone is hoping for. I passionately support their work and I am proud to be part of it.
Emily received an OBE this year for her services to drama. Emily was most recently seen leading the cast in BBC One’s A Song For Jenny, a TV movie based on Julie Nicholson’s book about her daughter, who tragically died during the 7/7 attacks in London. Later this year, Emily will be seen in Richard Eyre’s The Dresser co-starring Sir Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins. In October 2015, she will star in Universal Pictures project Everest co-starring Jack Gyllenhaal, Robin Wright and Keira Knightly. Emily starred as ‘Beryl Wilde’ in the award winning The Theory of Everything, alongside Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones. She was also seen in James Kent’s Testament of Youth, based on Vera Brittain’s First World War memoir and in May 2015 Emily portrayed ‘Queen Elizabeth’ in V.E. Day celebration film A Royal Night Out.
EARTH CARAVAN JOINS AS AFFILIATE
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LUSH DONATE TO CHILDREN OF PEACE
Women comprise just 12% of the Palestinian labour force, yet outnumber men by 50% in the universities. They remain inherently more vulnerable to the economic ramifications of conflict. We believe that the best route out of this marginalisation is to empower women to become economically independent and take control of their own lives. Not only do women reinvest 90% of their income back into the health and education of their families, but the spirit of trust and cooperation between Palestinian and Israeli women can serve as a benchmark for the children born into conflict. We are delighted that Lush has chosen to support conflict resolution in Israel and Palestine and Lush for their invaluable support.
President and Founder of Children of Peace, Richard Martin says…
Children of Peace is extremely grateful to Lush for their generosity. Children of Peace adheres to the UN Millennium Goals and in particular Goal Three which focuses on gender equality and empowering women and girls. This grant will help towards making that happen.
THE CHILDREN OF PEACE INTERVIEW: TORI EGHERMAN
In this latest interview, Professor Sarah Brown talks to Tori Egherman an American activist and journalist.
She was one of two bloggers at View from Iran, and has also written about Iran for Tehran Bureau on The Guardian and Global Voices.
She is currently the editor of The Civil Society How-To and Communications Director for #TEDxAms.
Tori Egherman: I support the agreement.
Tori Egherman: When I lived in Iran, I kept a blog.
Tori Egherman: The biggest misconception is...
Tori Egherman: When Mideast Youth first began...
Tori Egherman: Yes. I believe that justice is at the heart of long-term peace.
Tori Egherman: That’s a good question.
LETTER FROM GAZA: THE HARMONY OF CHANGE
In the latest of her regular series of despatches from Gaza, Dalia Al-Najjar focuses on her life and the everyday reality of the Strip. Here she looks at how creative music can bring about change.
CHILDREN OF PEACE’S ALICE WINS BRITISH 10K LONDON RUN!
For the seventh successive year, Children of Peace sent a team of 12 enthusiastic fundraisers to take part in July’s British 10k London run. Not only did the runners together raise a fantastic £2,647 in individual donations, but there was a personal triumph for Alice Braham, who won the overall women’s race with a magnificent time of 36 min 46 sec, ahead of 6,500 other female runners. Congratulations Alice! The running route passed numerous London landmarks, including Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and 10 Downing Street. All the money raised from the event goes towards upcoming projects that bring Israeli and Palestinian children together so that they can build friendships, understanding and a shared, peaceful future in the region.
Children of Peace’s running team will be back again next year. If you’re interested in joining our running team, please contact Dominic at email@example.com.
Latest news from around the region compiled by Sarah Brown.
For many of them it’s the first time they meet a Jew, an Israeli, and that we listen to them,” “They can say everything, and they do – even very harsh things – but they never boycott or attack me. Even in schools, it’s very seldom that teachers say, ‘now you can talk,’ and that they are willing to listen to those things because they have a different sensibility to issues of anti-Semitism. But we don’t have this limitation.
You can read more about this initiative here… http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/europe/73402-150602-you-dirty-jew-fighting-anti-semitism-in-german-schools
“He is much more active than before and he has a more relaxed heartbeat”. He has spent the past few weeks in Israel, and asked if his views have changed, say, “Of course – if I could, I would come to live here,” he declares, before adding that he has been telling his family about his experiences, “I wish all of them could come and be here”.
As well as carrying out operations, the charity trains doctors from different communities. Currently two Palestinian students are taking advantage of this opportunity. Dr Sion Houri, a founding member of SACH, explains how he refuses to allow politics to interfere with his work…
“Around 50 per cent of the children SACH treat come from the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Iraq and Morocco.” When I ask Dr Houri if politics ever get in the way, he says: “It is a hospital, we don’t have time for nonsense.”Last summer, during the war in Gaza, missiles were falling as close as 20 metres from the hospital, says Dr Houri, but the charity managed to get Palestinian children to the centre. He adds, “During the intifada years there were hard times, but we are trying, as much as we can, not to stop our activities, to keep them unconnected from the craziness outside.”
You can read more about Save a Child’s Heart… www.thejc.com/lifestyle/lifestyle-features/141105/inside-israels-secret-heart Even when there is no current conflict, doctors in Gaza work in tough conditions with uncertain supplies of drugs and equipment. But one physician working in Gaza, Tarek Loubani, has come up with an ingenious design for a 3-D printed stethoscope which costs just 30 cents to make.
Loubani, who has been working in Gaza’s Shifa hospital for several years, heads the Glia Project which aims to supply the blockaded Strip with low-cost medical devices. According to Loubani, Glia was founded when the meagre supply of medical tools during the 2012 conflict between Israel and Gaza forced him and his fellow doctors to press their ears against patients’ chests to listen to their heartbeat.
Full details of the stethoscope’s design were published earlier this month and are freely available. You can read more about Dr Loubani’s work at www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.671241
Each classroom is staffed by a general classroom teacher, a special education teacher and a volunteer from Sherut Leumi (National Service). All pupils with special needs are part of the regular class and are supported with their own individual education program covering the same subjects as their friends with additional input where needed. They also receive occupational, speech and animal therapy, according to their needs.
You can read more about the work of the school at www.gush-etzion.org.il/projects/resh1.htm Many Israeli families have moved to the Gush Etzion settlement to take advantage of Reishit’s unique facilities.