Friday, April 17

The Refugee Relief Campaign

Salam everyone:),

With great excitement and anticipation, I share with you the launching of an important fundraising campaign I've been working on to help support projects in the Aida Refugee Camps near Beit Lahem & Gaza Refugee Camp in Jarash. In a few short weeks, I will be visiting these camps where I will be participating first hand in the over sight of the projects your donations will be sustaining. 

Please help me reach my goal by contributing or by forwarding this posting to your friends & contacts. 
Thank you very much!

I hope this letter finds all in the best of health & spirits.
As a Palestinian in the diaspora, many of you know that I've always been eager to find ways to give back to our people and advance our cause in some of the best ways I knew how. One of the nearest and dearest issues to my heart has been to address the many challenges faced by the displacement of our Palestinian refugees specifically those directly impacted by occupation and the instability of our region. I decided to join Al-Awda The Palestine Right to Return Coalition organization over eight years ago with that focus in mind—I wanted to help raise awareness in our communities about the human and legal rights of Palestinian refugees, while organizing efforts that offer humanitarian aid and empower them with projects that nurture their autonomy. 
I've had the honor of organizing numerous relief efforts with my colleagues at Al-Awda and with several humanitarian organizations across the US. Together we managed to raise thousands of dollars that helped alleviate some of the suffering and hardships of our refugees in Gaza, Tanaf camp, Al-Waleed camp, Yarmouk camp & the Palestinian refugee community in Lebanon. This year I have new two new projects that I will be personally working on and fundraising for: Aida Refugee Camp near Beit Lahem and the Gaza Refugee Camp in Jarash. I’m seeking your help to achieve my goal of raising $40k. 
I chose to fund raise for these two specific camps because not only are they in dire need of support to execute their valuable programs, but also because of their highly appraised reputation and commitment to transparency. Lajee center in Aida, for example, is known to be one of the most active and transparent organizations in the West Bank; Last year they received a 9.4 out of 10 by the European Union for clarity in their financial reports. As a result, the EU funded the camp with a three-year program to work with 12 other refugee camps in the West Bank. I personally visited the Lajee center in 2010 & 2012 and was very impressed with their efforts and resourcefulness in combating the different challenges they've been facing—especially after Israel built the wall around the camp, which is home to over 6000 refugees, and where more than half of them are children under the age of 18.
I also chose the Gaza Refugee Camp this year after I learned about it from our Imam who has been generously supporting several of their projects for the past 3 years. The camp has an estimated 30,000 Gazan refugees who have no ID number in the country and have harder time obtaining jobs, therefore its very expensive for them to complete their education. In turn, I got connected with the Co-founder at “Hopes for Women in Education” who has been working tirelessly with her team to manage several vital projects in the Gaza Refugee camp, that hopefully your generous donations will help sustain.
Here are the projects your donations will be sponsoring: -
Aida Refugee Camp:
1- Lajee Center’s Music Project: 
2- Lajee Center’s Rooftop Gardens.
Gaza Camp’s project:
1.  Hopes for women in Education
2.  Sitti Soap project
I will be going in July to visit both refugee camps, and will personally make sure that 97 cents of every dollar you spent goes directly to help the project that you choose to support. The remaining 3% will be used for expenses such as wiring funds and preparing the reports that would verify how your donations were spent. Your donations are guaranteed tax deductible and you will be issued a receipt for the donated amount. And of course, I will update you with reports and photos on the progress of these efforts as they happen.
The good news is, I've already received one donation of $10,000 towards my goal of $40,000—With your generous support, we can help refugee children and families receive some of the relief and support they desperately need by way of someone you personally know and hopefully trust. 
Please don’t hesitate to help in anyway-- every dollar counts. Thanks so much in advance, your support will go a long way. To support, please click on this link

Amani Barakat

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