Voice of Gaza student tuition!
My very good friend Abedalrahman Elderawi is establishing an Educational Non-Profit Center in Gaza.
For the past seven decades, the Palestinian residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) have suffered from continuous Israeli aggression and violations that have affected every aspect of their daily human life. Since 2006, the illegal Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip has enhanced restrictions and deteriorated the social fabric of Palestinian livelihoods in the Gaza Strip.
The Voice of Gaza project will help students who meet the criteria and are financially challenged become more familiar with the English language, give them the needed tools to become writers and give them the needed platform to help their expression reach the world. Exemplary students need further education in expressing their stories and suffering in words. This enables students to work through their trauma of war. We find that they urgently need this project as the centers’ costs are too expensive. This deters students in need by being monetarily challenged and disenfranchised from taking part in a healing process. This project would also be the first of its kind as it meets the children under the age of 15 needs.
Your support is needed for this cause. Please be so kind, if possible, to pave a way for these kids. Their education is as much important as any other kids' around the globe. Please contact Barry or Abedalrahman.
Abedalrahman Elderawi graduated from the Islamic University in 2005, obtained his Bachelor's Degree and his Diploma of Translation and has been teaching ever since.
My Name is Barry Ackerman, I am a teacher in North London and am assisting Abedalrahman. The project is in need of continued support in order to operate. The first sessions have been very successful and girls groups are about to start. The potential is endless and the impact that this project is making on the lives of young Gazans cannot be underestimated.
The Voice of Gaza (VOG) Project
The Voice of Gaza is a unique non-profit, tuition-free educational center that assists young Gazan students who are gifted writers but financially challenged in the following ways:
Helping them become more familiar with the English language so that they can reach a larger audience
Giving them the tools they need to become more effective writers and speakers
Giving them platforms to help their expressions reach the larger world
Building up their character as future leaders able to speak eloquently for the Palestinian people
Enhancing their spiritual side through music and arts, while also helping them cope with the trauma of war and occupation.
All this will be accomplished through the diligent work of well-educated specialists who care deeply about the students, their education, their futures, and the future of their people.
For the past seven decades, the Palestinian residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) have suffered from continuous Israeli aggression and violations that have affected every aspect of their daily lives. Since 2006, the illegal Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip has enhanced restrictions and deteriorated the social fabric of Palestinian livelihoods in the Gaza Strip.
The Strip has endured three major Israeli military assaults over a period of six years, all of which included the targeting of civilians, civilian infrastructure, private sector institutions, and health and education organizations serving large segments of the population. As a result, living conditions have deteriorated drastically, with limited access to reconstruction materials after each assault.
Over the course of 50 days, from the 8th of July until the 26th of August 2014, the Israeli armed forces carried out a large-scale military assault on the Gaza Strip that caused unprecedented levels of destruction, damage, death and injury to Palestinian civilians, homes, and infrastructure. Particularly troubling is the effect on the lives of children left traumatized, grieving in the shadows, hopeless and heartbroken.
As a result, a group of talented writers, poets, musicians and artists have gathered to mentor those who are suffering and grieving, to give them a voice to express their thoughts, and to give them hope and peace. We know that our children, despite all the suffering and pain they carry, are gifted, talented and creative, and can be a symbol of hope and optimism. Our mission is to cultivate their creativity and show it to the whole world.
Subject: To establish a non-profit educational center offering free tuition to students who show proficiency as writers.
Need: Exemplary students need further education to be able to express their stories and suffering in words. Writing enables students to work through the trauma of war. What they write can help others to heal and show the greater world the terrible injustices of the occupation. However, as the students are financially challenged and we want to offer them free tuition, we need extra funding for this project. The project will be the first of its kind, as it meets the needs of children under the age of 16.
Project Description: To help chosen students who are financially challenged become more familiar with the English language and give them the tools required to become writers, and platforms to help their expressions reach the world.
The strategy of choosing the targeted group:
We will choose a group of 40 students (boys and girls) who have highest marks in English exams and divide them into two age groups: Group (A) 12-13 and Group (B) 14-15.
We are preparing written and oral exams to measure their language skills, with a focus on creative writing skills.
We will choose the students based on their scores on the exams.
We will give preference to students with public speaking abilities, creative writing skills, determination and intelligence.
Parental approval must be obtained for them to participate in this project.
Both age groups will undergo a two-year education period, with details as follows:
* Each year will consist of four levels.
* Each level will last for three months.
* Group (A) will function over 8 levels: A1, A2, A3, etc. Every level will have its own material and action plan developed with the help of experienced consultants in accordance with the students’ ages and English language skills. Students will be taught vocabulary, conversational basics, grammar, correct pronunciation of letters and words, reading stories, listening skills, etc. Students will be expected to graduate with the ability to read, form correct sentences, converse effectively, and write their own simple stories.
* Group (B) will function over 8 levels: B1, B2, B3, etc. Every level will have its own material and action plan developed with the help of experienced consultants in accordance with the students’ ages and English language skills. Students will be taught vocabulary, grammar, phonetics, listening skills, creative writing, how to engage in discussions/debates, public speaking, and how to make effective presentations. Students will also be taught idioms and phrases, some slang, take drama classes, and learn how to write and recite poetry, etc. Students will be expected to graduate with an improved ability to use English language skills efficiently and better yet to become writers of their own stories and experiences.
Increase language skills, especially writing.
Help students overcome war trauma and fear.
Publish the students’ achievements and build their self-confidence.
Provide meaningful, rewarding volunteer work opportunities for the trainers involved.
Build up the students’ characters as future leaders with independent identities.
Enhance their spiritual side by exposing them to the marvels of music and art.
Increasing the students’ English language abilities, especially writing stories and poetry.
Building bridges of love and trust between the children of Gaza and the outside world via video conferences and corresponding.
Giving the students a chance to publish their works in online magazines, allowing their messages to be heard.
Training students to be good speakers and writers of the English language.
Recruiting trainers for this project.
Providing students with stress-release and entertainment sessions with Palestinian artists and musicians.
Helping them to overcome war trauma, especially after the last assault on Gaza.
Helping students deal with and solve their personal issues by providing them with skilled consultants.
Providing students with further activities including: sports, competitions, art and music.
Providing healthy snacks.
Rewarding them when they achieve academic progress.
Helping them speak for the Palestinian people.
Letting them publish their works on a blog, learning technology in the process.
Short Term: (three months during the summer vacation)
We started the project during the summer vacation at the Al-Zahra Municipality building and the process was as follows
We were working three meetings per week; four hours per meeting.
Each meeting included two sessions: The first session worked with stress-release and entertainment. The trainer also provided students with principles and strategies of thinking and communication skills, while also giving huge doses of fun and laughs through games and jokes (the trainer is a certified specialist in human development, counseling and coaching). The second session taught the students various English language skills through stimulating and fun activities, offering them a different learning atmosphere to that of other schools. So far we’ve hosted a number of renowned characters from Palestinian society, including social and political activists. We assigned the students many reflective writing tasks. Between the two sessions the students take a 15-minute break that involves snacks and refreshments.
The budget for these three months has been covered through individual donors. The work we have done has been completely voluntary and we have dedicated much of our time and effort to make this a success. We are ready to proceed with this voluntary work as much as it takes until we find a sponsor.
After the holiday program is completed, we will commence our long term plan by selecting 40 students according to the strategic steps outlined above. The municipality will no longer be available to house our project when the summer holiday ends. Thus, we will need to find a new facility to host our classes.
The center will need laptops, LCD devices, an Internet connection, and a library full of different kinds of books and amusing stories that will match the students’ abilities help create a more lively and productive atmosphere. We will also need a website to share the students’ achievements and videos.
Michael R. Burch,
Mike Burch is an editor and publisher of Holocaust and Nakba poetry, a peace activist, and the primary author of the Burch-Elberry Peace Initiative
Denny Cormier is a well-known peace activist who lived in Gaza during the last Israeli assault.
Barry Ackerman, Head of Department, Philosophy and Religion at Highbury Grove,
Anthony (Tony) Murphy, Retired Director of Avcom Ltd,
Dr. Mosheer Amer, Associate Professor of Linguistics, Department of English, Faculty of Arts, The Islamic University of Gaza,
Dr. Hanin Hassan, Teaching fellow at Columbia University, NYC, NY, Policy office
She visited The Center and after a week she will travel to The USA.
Dr. Rami Abdu, Chairman@Euromed Monitor, Gaza,
Dr. Hassan El- Nabih, Associate Professor of linguistics, Department of English, Faculty of Arts, The Islamic University of Gaza,
Sarah Alaa First, I think that The Voice of Gaza is one of the most helpful programs I have ever participated in. Girls and I had so much fun and happiness with our very special teacher and friend Saja. She is very funny and kind to us. Moreover, she uses very effective and amazing methods to help us learn and understand easier. The class’s atmosphere is generally wonderful and friendly. I have to admit that I am so lucky to know the students and make and to make new friends.
Noor shreem When I was called on the phone and informed that I am a part of the Voice of Gaza project, I felt that I finally got the chance to improve my English in many aspects; writing, speaking, listening and grammar. Of course, this chance is not available for everyone, but I feel I am lucky I had it and lucky I met VOG team and students. The method of this center is modern and so interesting; we watch video and movies and we play games. We also use our imagination in drawing characters then describing them which is way different form school. I want to thank Saja and everyone helping us. Love you all. Dina Ayman Since day one of The Voice of Gaza, I loved this project. The time we spent was full of happiness, joy and laughter. It is really the most wonderful project I ever joined so far. In addition to the great improvement of my English language in terms of widening my vocabs, English skills, storytelling skills, increasing slag terms and developing my conversation skills, I got to know splendid friends and acquaintances. Now, I feel I am more comfortable when I speak with other native speakers and my teachers. I am so grateful to our trainers who spent much of their time and paid much efforts to make us better.
Barry, thanks for the good work you're doing to help fund the Voice of Gaza. I know the headmaster, Abed, and he is a wonderful man doing great things for his people, and for the world.
On our way to a laptop! Thank you all! Students in Gaza will benefit from this.
Hoping to hit £500 very soon! Thanks for all the support!
Fantastic, thank you all so much for supporting!