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August 20, 2001
Adopt a Family in Palestine Campaign

From Al-Awda

 
 

As you will be aware, life has been extremely difficult for most Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza since the outbreak of the Al Aqsa intifada. It has literally been a daily struggle for survival in the face of Israel's physical and economic siege of the West Bank and Gaza, the daily closures, the military attacks, the collective punishment, the house demolitions, the land confiscations, the restriction of movement and the daily humiliations and brutality of the Israeli army. Many families have had no income for months and have used up whatever savings they have. People are truly living from day to day on a hope and a prayer.

The Palestine Working Women Society for Development (PWWSD) (for more information about PWWSD, please visit their website at www.pal-pwws.org) and The Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) - Gaza Strip (for more information about UHWC, please visit their website at www.gaza-health.org ) have given us a list and description of some of the most needy families that they work with in the West Bank and Gaza. These are families that are suffering significantly and are in desperate need of help. Once you sign up for the Adopt a Family in Palestine Campaign, you will be sent the name and description of the family who you will be adopting and who will receive your monthly contribution.

How are families selected?

The families are selected by our partner orgnisations in Palestine, PWWSD and UHWC. The following criterion are being applied when selecting families:

  1. Geographical consideration - i.e.from different parts of West Bank and Gaza.
  2. Families whose main providers are women.
  3. Families who have lost their source of income because of its provider's death, unemployment, injury or sickness.
  4. Large families with little income.
  5. Families where one of the children/family members are disabled
  6. Families which apply to this project are visited by the organisations and for their application to be accepted, they must be recommended by the local council and/or a local women's or community group.

Financial Commitment

Your financial commitment to this family will consist of a donation of 50 sterling per month. Although we had hoped that it would be possible to send this money directly to your adopted family, the nature of their situation unfortunately does not allow this. Many of the families live in remote areas and most of them do not have bank accounts. We have therefore set up a special account for the Campaign (please see details below) - to be administered by Al-Awda-UK. Each month, money from the Campaign bank account will be transferred to the PWWSD's and UHWC's bank accounts in Palestine. Transferring the money each month means that banking costs will be kept to a minimum. This money will then be directly distributed to the relevant family.

For donations from the UK, to ensure that this is done in the most efficient way possible, we ask that you complete a Direct Debit form and take it to your bank. Direct Debit will ensure that your 50 sterling per month reaches the family in the most expedient way possible. This will also avoid unfortunate cases where you may forget to send money. Remember that your adopted family will be depending on you and we cannot afford to let them down. At this stage, we recommend that you set up a Direct Debit for six months (to start on 1st September 2001) which can then be renewed for another six months and so on. Should you wish to cancel your Direct Debit (which you can do at any stage), we ask that you let us know as soon as possible so that we can arrange for alternative sponsors, where possible.

For those who are based outside the UK, please check with your bank for the best way to transfer money to our bank account. It would be VERY helpful if you could send the money by WIRE TRANSFER in STERLING on a six-monthly basis. If you send a cheque the charges would be exorbitant and it will take considerable time for cheques to clear. Paying in STERLING will eliminate foreign exchange fluctuations. Also, please note that since you will be charged some fees for the money transfer, we recommend that you transfer at least 3 months (or 6 months) in one go as this will make the overall transfer cheaper for you. We will then transfer the money to the PWWSD and UHWC on a monthly basis.

Hopefully, a Wire Transfer will be a convenient way to transfer money from all countries. However, should you have any problems with the transfer, please contact us immediately.

Please note that any money transfer costs associated with this project will come from the donations; therefore, it is likely that although your donation will be Stg 50 per month, the family you are supporting will receive Stg 47-48 per month.

The Campaign bank account details are:

Bank Name: Unity Trust Bank Plc
Bank Address : United Kingdom
Account Name: P.R.R.C. - London A.P.F.C. (Adopt a Palestinian Family Campaign)
Account number: 20106735
Sort code: 086001

You will need to write these details on the Direct Debit form to take to your bank. Please let us know as soon as possible once you have set up the Direct Debit.

Moral Commitment

Although the financial commitment is of utmost importance, so too is the moral commitment. One of the main aims of this Campaign is to connect Palestinians living under occupation with their compatriots and supporters in other countries. Many of these families have lost hope that anyone cares about them or about their situation. Your correspondence with your adopted family is extremely important in this regard. It will give them hope, lift their spirits and let them know that there are people in other parts of the world that care about their struggle.

Through your correspondence, you can also ensure that your monthly 50 contribution is reaching your adopted family. Although your adopted family may not have a telephone or access to email, please feel free to send them letters, postcards, notes ... whatever you can manage. However, should you wish to remain anonymous and not correspond with the family you are supporting, this is also perfectly acceptable.

Accountability and Transparency:

It is Al-Awda UK's top priority to ensure that your money will go to those who need it. To ensure this happens and to assure you that your money will reach your adopted family, the following measures will be taken:

1) Upon request, we will send you information regarding the budget reports and bank statements of our partner organisations in Palestine showing how the money has been distributed to families.

2) Through our contacts in Palestine, we will arrange independent visits to the adopted families to ensure that they are receiving their monthly donations.

3) As a matter of course, we will provide you with the contact details of your adopted family so that you can get in touch with them on a regular basis and ensure that they are receiving your monthly donation.

4) Al-Awda-UK will provide an independent audit of the financial transactions involved in this project on an annual basis. This will be circulated to our partner organisations in Palestine and to all sponsors.

Thank you again for your interest in the Adopt a Family in Palestine Campaign and your willingness to help our people. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are living in the worst possible conditions and under a brutal occupation. They are struggling and fighting for their home, for their land and for all of us. It is our obligation to help them and to show them that we support them and are fighting in solidarity with them. It is the least we can do.

We hope that this information package has addressed all of your queries. Should you have further queries, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to address them. You can reach us
by email at
compassion@al-awda.org.uk,
by fax at +44 (0) 20-7900 6767,
or by post at:
Al-Awda PRRC London
BCM Box 7223
London WC1N 3XX
United Kingdom

In solidarity,

Nesreen Srouji and Amjad Taha
Co-ordinators, The Adopt a Family in Palestine Team

Al-Awda - UK
URL: www.al-awda.org.uk
E-mail: compassion@al-awda.org.uk