Giving Back And Doubling My Impact

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Connecting Communities Through Workplace Giving

I am an ardent supporter of Anera. My contributions are made possible through the Community Connections Program at the World Bank: a workplace giving initiative organized to encourage its employees to give back to organizations that support their interests. 

I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. My father was Palestinian, and my mother grew up in Iowa. As a teenager, I visited Jordan and the West Bank, quickly becoming interested in the politics of the region and empathetic towards the unique struggles of the Palestinian refugees. 

Walid Labadi photo
Walid Labadi

Anera has been helping refugees hurt by conflicts in the Middle East since 1968. When I made an effort to find organizations that supported Palestinian refugees, I soon found Anera because of its deep ties to the region. I liked that a high percentage of the donations went to the refugees themselves. You can’t say the same for a lot of organizations. As soon as I got involved, I could tell that it was a very well run and ethical humanitarian effort. 

I was particularly drawn to Anera’s programs in the education sector. Building schools and supporting students is very important to me.

In my 20-year career in economic development, I have been involved in more than 300 transactions covering a range of sectors, from finance to natural resources. I currently serve as the IFC’s country manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. 

Around 2014, I realized that Anera was not on the list of organizations eligible for the Community Connections program at the World Bank. I wanted to be able to give back to Anera through this unique workplace giving program. 

After persuading ten people to support Anera during the first year of the partnership, it aggregated to the amount of a few thousand dollars. In the second year, there were enough funds for Anera to qualify for the biggest impact the workplace giving program at the World Bank can have: the doubling of donations. It’s an unlimited, 100 percent match. If you care about Palestinian refugees you can give through this program and make a bigger impact. Since Anera joined the campaign, employees – with the support of the World Bank match – have raised about $250,000 for vulnerable communities in the Middle East. 

I encourage those who already donate to Anera, and those who are interested in donating, to reach out to their employers about a workplace giving program.

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