Global Initiative Awards Funding to Palestinian Refugee NGO

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Josie Shields-Stromsness (510) 548-0542/ meca@mecaforpeace.org

Global Initiative Awards Funding to Palestinian Refugee NGO

WASHINGTON - The Shoruq organization, based in the West Bank, has been selected as one of only 20 organizations from around the world to be awarded inaugural funding from the With and For Girls Awards for their work with Palestinian refugee girls. Shoruq, meaning ‘sunrise’ in Arabic, was created by and for Palestinian refugees in 2012.

Shoruq’s programs are geared towards political, social, cultural and economic prosperity and dignified life for all refugees in Occupied Palestine and the Diaspora. They focus on empowering Palestinian refugees in shaping a just solution and a better future for themselves and future generations.

“Palestinian women and girls bear a heavier burden living under Israeli occupation and ongoing violence,” stated Barbara Lubin, MECA’s Executive Director and Founder.  “I have been visiting Palestine for almost 30 years, and the situation continues to worsen for many, especially those living in refugee camps.  This demands special focus and attention to the situation of young women, and we celebrate that The With and For Girls Awards recognize this reality.”  MECA has supported Shoruq since its inception, and provides ongoing resources for training in journalism and human rights for youth, summer camps, art activities, and lessons in traditional debka dance.

Dalia Ramadan, a teenage member of Shoruq, stated “We started our group two and a half years ago to use art and music to tell the world about our lives as Palestinians and as young girls. I’m so privileged to have Shoruq as a second home. They helped me to develop my skills and gave me tools to find a way through art to reflect what is inside of me.”

The With and For Girls Collective was convened by the Stars Foundation and consists of  EMpower (the Emerging Markets Foundation), Mama Cash, the Nike Foundation, NoVo Foundation, Plan UK, The Global Fund for Children and the Malala Fund.

Sophia Alaysa, another young member of Shoruq who takes part in their music and dance program, explained her participation, stating “There are nine girls in our group between ages 12 and 14.  We write all our songs together.  We have a song about the dreams of children in refugee camps, another about children with special needs, and one about child soldiers that we are working on right now.”

A free and independent press is essential to the health of a functioning democracy

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Founded in 1988 by Barbara Lubin and Howard Levine, the Middle East Children's Alliance is a Berkeley-based non-profit humanitarian aid organization that has delivered more than $10 million in food, medicine and medical supplies to children in the West Bank and Gaza, Iraq and Lebanon.  MECA also provides financial assistance to community groups working with children in the Palestine/Israel.

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