Anera’s Top 10 Success Stories of 2018
Reflecting on the genesis of Anera and her family’s support for the organization since the beginning, Betty Sams wrote in a guest blog post, “In August of 1967, 50 people from all over the U.S. came to our home in Bethesda, Maryland for dinner. It was two months after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, and they represented the many different committees that had mobilized to raise and send aid to the Palestinians, both those who were suffering under occupation and those who were made refugees.”
Many Palestinian children have faced an uncertain school year in light of donor cuts to UNRWA, which operates schools for refugee children. But Anera supporters can take pride in the opportunities for Palestinian children that they have helped make possible, including the October 2017 launch of the first national kindergarten curriculum guide for teachers in Palestine.
There are very few mental health professionals or facilities in Lebanon. The Family Guidance Center was founded to provide specialized preventive and therapeutic mental health services for refugee youth. Anera supports the center by delivering medicines, donated by Direct Relief, to treat seizures, bipolar disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, compulsive obsessive disorder and social phobias, enabling vulnerable patients to access the medicine they need free-of-charge.
Anera established the Gaza Women’s Loan Fund in 1995 with the Culture and Free Thought Association. The program provides working capital to low income women in order to reduce poverty, create employment, and improve livelihoods. Since its inception over 20 years ago, Anera has supported 5,676 women across Gaza with loans totaling $7,200,000 million. As the humanitarian and economic crisis in Gaza deepens, the number of women now responsible for family incomes increases and so does the need to support their efforts.
Anera and Inter Campus, the Corporate Social Responsibility program of Inter Milan, one of the world’s most famous soccer clubs, partnered to provide youth sports programs in Shatila refugee camp in Beirut. Trainers from Inter Campus are sent twice a year to Shatila as part of this ongoing training project. During their March and July visits this year, the Inter Campus coaches joined local coaches to organize sports activities for young boys and girls at the Al Siraj soccer field in the camp.
Dr. Ilham Nasser reflected in a guest blog post on the journey that led her to work with Anera as an early childhood education specialist and become a leader in drafting and launching the first national curriculum for preschool and kindergarten education in Palestine.
This year, we delved into the Anera photo archives to feature one emblematic photo for each year of our existence, covering one decade at a time since the organization first opened its doors 50 years ago. #anera50for50
Last year, with funding from Islamic Relief USA, Anera supported eight women’s cooperatives with dough mixers, pans, cooking utensils and stoves to support their professional work and help them generate income despite the difficult economic conditions in Gaza. This story looked at how one of the cooperatives, Al Hakoura Women’s Cooperative, takes advantage of the date harvest season to gather dates from the farms to make food products that they sell to earn an income all year long.
We updated this blog post throughout the year to revisit some of the thousands of projects and people who Anera has worked with over the years to see where they are now — from universities that got their start with Anera’s help to teachers who changed their classroom with new skills they gained. #anerathenandnow
In July 2018, Anera President & CEO Sean Carroll traveled to Lebanon, Jordan, Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza to visit two dozen past and current Anera projects. Reflecting on the trip, he wrote, “The commitment of our teams to continually improve upon delivery outcomes was abundantly evident on my field visits and discussions with staff and beneficiaries. The trip re-validated my sense that we are doing excellent, impactful humanitarian and development work.”
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