Our Work In Palestine

Building Peace + Hope through Education

Volunteer-driven classes in Language, Technology, Arts + Sports

Based in Nablus, Palestine, we provide educational and recreational programs to communities enduring the effects of violence and occupation, offering children, youth, and adults safe spaces to learn, thrive and grow. Our main program areas are languages, arts, technology, and sports. We keep all our classes small — between ten and fifteen students — and strive to create an atmosphere that is positive and encouraging.

Below you will find more detail about our courses. Some programs –- such as our English, French, and computer classes –- are offered continually; others are offered whenever we have a suitable volunteer.

Languages

Project Hope offers classes in English and French for all levels, from young beginners to advanced students. From time to time, we’ve been able to offer classes in other languages, as well — German, Italian, Spanish, even Japanese. Fluency in a second language can be an essential asset for a young Palestinian, opening doors to higher education, as well as employment in business or the non-profit sector. Our classes, taught by native speakers, provide the kind of real-world conversation practice that can help students succeed, and our talented local and international teachers have gained a reputation for quality instruction.

Featured Program

English Language

Project Hope has grown to become the largest provider of free English classes in the West Bank, with 1000 students enrolled per month, but only 10-15 students per class. To make this possible, not only do we hold classes in our own two-story learning center, but we also partner with more than 40 community centers in refugee camps and other underprivileged areas in and around Nablus. Children and youth receive free tuition and make up the majority of our pupils, while adults enjoy an affordable, subsidized rate to cover material expenses. Classes for adults hosted outside of our learning center, attended mostly by women, are also free.

With a six-tiered curriculum catering to all levels, classes in Business English, and courses for women, demand for our English courses continues to grow.

Click here to learn more.


Technology

Project Hope is proud to announce the opening of our new two-story Community Education Center. In addition to its classrooms, lecture hall, language library, resource rooms and offices, the Center also boasts a newly equipped computer lab, and even a net café, free and open to the public. With our newly expanded facilities, we are able to offer more classes in computer and Internet literacy to both children and adults.

Our new Net Café is made possible by the New Zealand Consulate in Ankara, Turkey, and by Kerk in Actie (Netherlands). Our English center is made possible by the Canadian Auto Workers Social Justice Fund.

Featured Program

Net Program

As part of our holistic approach to learning, Project Hope combines language practice with computer education. We’re currently running 14 beginner computer classes and six blogging classes, with over 160 students participating in the program. Project Hope provides transportation to and from the refugee camps, so that students are able to use the center’s computers and Internet. Through these classes, students gain the invaluable opportunity to communicate and exchange ideas with their peers in other countries. They are able to break through the physical and political barriers that isolate them, and become part of the global community.

Click here to learn more.

Our Net Program is made possible by the International Development and Relief Foundation.


Arts

Arts classes can be incredibly therapeutic for children who have endured violent trauma. They serve as a safe vehicle for channeling experiences too painful to deal with directly. Arts classes also provide students with a welcome outlet to exercise their creativity and imagination. Over the years, Project Hope has offered a wide range of arts classes, including photography, drama, art, graphic novels, music, and filmmaking.

Featured Program

Graphic Novel Design

In this exciting and innovative program, students are introduced to the genre of graphic novels, and eventually produce their own short stories. Students begin by studying famous graphic novels, noting the illustration and story-telling techniques. Then, drawing on their own, often trying experiences, they begin drafting stories that represent life in Palestine. Our local and international volunteer teachers work together to guide the students through the storyboarding and illustrating process as they move toward a final product.

Works from the first Graphic Novels course run in 2009 have been exhibited in Canada, the Netherlands, America, and the UK, and a collection of the students’ work was published in 2010, which you can view by clicking the image at right.

Click here to learn more, or click right to read the full 2010 graphic novel.

This project is made possible through sponsorship by Kerk in Actie (Netherlands).

Featured Project

Filmmaking for Girls

This was just one of several filmmaking classes for 6-9 students, aged 12-14. While this particular class was just for girls, mixed and boys’ classes have also been organized.

Students start by brainstorming what’s important to them and what they want to address. They then they talk about the power of media — how film can persuade or inform, how both what’s included and what’s omitted can change the message, etc.

Next is learning how to use the camera and frame shots. Before they know it, students are writing their narratives, storyboarding, and finally filming and editing their shorts. In Summer 2011, Project Hope will continue the film program with a class for local Palestinian volunteers, so that they may become teachers as well.

Click here to watch a video about the Filmmaking for Girls program, with b-roll shot entirely by the students.


Sports + Activities

Physically active children are not only healthier and stronger, but often concentrate better in school and display more confidence with their peers. The athletic activities offered by Project Hope are often the only source of exercise for many Palestinian children, particularly girls, who may be discouraged from playing in the streets in a conservative society such as Nablus. We work closely with several women’s centers in Nablus offering classes in yoga, aerobics, dance, etc. to ensure women and girls have access to our fitness programs. Previous volunteers have also organized classes in kick-boxing, football, chess, volleyball, and other sports and activities.

Featured Project

Dance

Dance classes have become a regular offering at Project Hope, giving students the opportunity to experience styles from across the spectrum. This spring, Norwegian volunteer Lykke taught two dance classes for girls aged 7 to 14. Each class consisted of 12 girls and met for two hours twice a week, providing the girls with regular physical activity, as well as a sense of community.

Dance is an important part of Palestinian culture and national pride. The dabke, a type of step dancing that is a staple of Palestinian celebrations, is a common sight, though it is typically dominated by boys. Lykke’s dance class combined the dabke with pop and hip hop, and provided the girls with a space to create dances of their own.

Click here to watch Lykke and her girls in action.

Project Hope

Project Hope is a community not-for-profit and a registered charity.

Project Hope works in the refugee camps, cities, and villages of the Nablus region of the northern West Bank, teaching English and delivering other essential education, arts and sports programs to Palestinian children and youth.

The largest volunteer organization of its kind in Palestine, Project Hope fosters dialogue and cooperation between local and international volunteers, while encouraging its volunteer alumni to remain involved with the issue of Palestine afterward.

A Registered Charity

Project Hope's work is carried out through the Canadian charity “Humanitarian Opportunities for Peace and Education”

Canada

Charity Number:
862587078 RR0001

France

Charity number:
W751227523

Project Hope's work is supported from the United Kingdom and European Union through the Scottish charity Firefly International

UK

Scottish Charity Number:
028744

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