Archive for August, 2016

MiniActive Youth – also Improving Issawiya

August 25th, 2016

We’ve written here about MiniActive Youth’s project in Silwan. They are also helping to decorate a special education school in Issawiya. The girls started at the end of July.

They decorated one of the school’s doors.

Decorating doors

Decorating doors

And fences.

Fences

Fences

And other structures outside the school, making it a more pleasant place to be.

Under the sea

Under the sea

And the Facebook post in Arabic:

And here’s some more pictures on their progress, both on the building:

More decorations on the door

More decorations on the door

Here’s another picture of the decorations painted on one of the aluminum siding fences around the school:

More fun paintings

More fun paintings

And on the fence surrounding the school:

May you, too, have a colorful day

May you, too, have a colorful day

And here’s a later Facebook post:

But wait! There are more pictures from Issawiya.

Finishing the decorations on the door

Finishing the decorations on the door

We’re sure these pictures and other decorations will make the children’s learning experience special.

What are they building? We'll soon find out

What are they building? We’ll soon find out

Many thanks also to the Tambour paint company, which donated the paint.

Here’s the Facebook post in Arabic:

MiniActive – Improving the Environment for Palestinian Residents throughout East Jerusalem

August 20th, 2016

We are, yet again, seeing the results of the incredibly hard work the MiniActive women are doing day in, day out. Here are some examples:

In January 2016 MiniActive reported that bricks were falling from a school’s outside wall in the Old City.

The wall, before

The wall, before

Here’s the wall, after the workmen finished on Saturday, August 6:

After. Now this wall won't be dangerous

After. Now this wall won’t be dangerous

Here’s the post from the MinActive Facebook page:

Drainage problems can also be health hazards. Thanks to the work of MiniActive in Kufr Aqeb, this drainage problems has been taken care of. Here’s a before and after picture:

Cleaning up drainage problems in Kufr Aqeb

Cleaning up drainage problems in Kufr Aqeb

MiniActive has also followed a number of public works activities that have taken place as a result of their complaints:

In Wadi Joz

In Wadi Joz

And elsewhere in East Jerusalem:

Improving infrastructure for safety

Improving infrastructure for safety

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for its continuing support of MiniActive.

MiniActive Youth – Fruits of their Labors of the Silwan Project

August 17th, 2016

We’ve reported here on the progress of the MiniActive Youth in decorating and cleaning up the area of the elementary / secondary school in Silwan.

We're all proud of their work

We’re all proud of their work

Now they’ve finished

Putting on the finishing touches

Putting on the finishing touches

And we’re proudly displaying their final product. The change is most pronounced when we show you the before and after pictures. Here’s one:

Before and after

Before and after

And here’s another:

A second before and after picture

A second before and after picture

And a third, this time on garbage receptacles:

It'll even be fun to take out the trash

It’ll even be fun to take out the trash

Can’t wait to see their projects in other parts of the city. Many many thanks and congratulations on a job well done!

Much more pleasant learning environment!

Much more pleasant learning environment!

The Silwan boys school event thanked MiniActive for their efforts, which are translated in this post:

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for their continued support of this project. Many thanks also to the Tambour paint company, which donated the paint.

Here’s the post in Arabic presenting the final product:

Join the Group, Like the Page – Building Community through Facebook and Other Social Media

August 15th, 2016

In our day and age, the bricks and mortar of building community take many forms. One of the most important forms today is through Facebook and other social media.

During the month of July we held two workshops with the staff at the Gilo Community Council in using Facebook to build community dialogue. The workshop stemmed from our work over the last year with the neighborhood community worker and the local planner, and in our experiences using Facebook in the process.

Using Facebook as a tool for community building

Using Facebook as a tool for community building

The Gilo Community Council has a very active Facebook page and Facebook group with several thousand members that does a fantastic job in communicating a wealth of information (locating and taking care of nuisances, providing information, advancing small businesses, raising needs in different fields, requests to the Community Council lay and professional leadership to deal with burning issues, and more). There are a number of community-led groups as well; in many of them the community worker is an active member. Here’s an example of an event on the Community Council’s Facebook page:

Because we understood how much the use of Facebook is important in Gilo to the community discourse, we decided to use it to inform residents about the impending expansion of the light rail system into the neighborhood, and to create active discussion and involvement in this process. This work proved to be very effective and impressive. They opened a new Facebook group and uploaded all the relevant information. A number of community town hall meetings were set and advertised in the group, minutes were distributed and discussed in the group (residents expressed their opinions, asked questions and discussed different issues) between residents, as well as between residents and professionals. Here’s an example (in Hebrew) of one of their posts:

Light rail facebook

Light rail facebook

We learned a great deal as a result of this experience – the dilemmas raised, and the conclusions that we reached – and we concluded that it is important that everyone who works with the community should use this tool. Thus the community worker and JICC staff designed a 3-part workshop for all the staff at the Gilo Community Council: 1) a technical review that discusses the using different aspects of Facebook; 2) skills to use Facebook as a tool for dialogue; 3) ethical questions regarding Facebook and different solutions.

Practicing what they learned

Practicing what they learned

Throughout the month of July there were two meetings with the administrative and coordinating staff of the Gilo Community Council, which included the Director, who actively participated throughout the process. There will be another meeting in October.

We expect that these workshops will enable the staff and leadership of the Gilo Community Council to further engage the community in its important work. Of course, this is only one aspect of their community work….

MiniActive Women and Youth Improving the Environment in Silwan

August 9th, 2016

We wrote here about about a new group of MiniActive Youth. On July 19 they started action. First stop was beside the boys’ elementary school and boys’ middle school in Silwan. Here’s some pictures:

MiniActive Youth summer 2016

MiniActive Youth summer 2016

They started working on the area that borders the schools. First they cleaned up the space.

Cleaning up the work area

Cleaning up the work area

And then they started painting. First they needed to paint the wall white.

Painting the wall

Painting the wall

And then the decoration. Because it’s adjacent to a school, they painted images of Winnie the Pooh,

Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh

SpongeBob Square Pants, Bambi and others, universal characters for children the world over.

SpongeBob, Bambi

SpongeBob, Bambi

Here’s a compilation of “before” and “after,” as well as in between.

Showing the progression

Showing the progression

And here’s the first post from the MiniActive Facebook page (in Arabic):

But they didn’t stop there.

Here come the Smurfs too!

Here come the Smurfs too!

A few days later, shaded from the heat, they continued painting favorite characters.

Work to be proud of

Work to be proud of

Here’s more pictures from the work in progress. The July 26 Facebook post (in Arabic):

And on the next day you can see the progress that they made:

They continue to make progress – in decorating more parts of the outside wall.

Every school should be decorated like this

Every school should be decorated like this

Or in painting garbage receptacles nearby.

Making even throwing away the trash more pleasant

Making even throwing away the trash more pleasant

Notice the graffiti on the wall above the garbage receptacle. Thanks to MiniActive women and the work of the Jerusalem Municipality, this, too has been removed.

MiniActive women and youth, improving the environment in Silwan

MiniActive women and youth, improving the environment in Silwan

Here’s the link to the MiniActive Facebook post (in Arabic):

So great to see the progress! I’m sure we’re not the only ones.

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for their continued support of this project. Many thanks also to the Tambour paint company, which donated the paint.

Atta’a – Helping Individuals, Helping Groups Obtain Health Care Rights

August 4th, 2016

A Palestinian woman recently approached the Atta’a Assistance Center for the Rights of East Jerusalem Residents with a problem. She was divorced, and had a very sick child who had been given medication that cost 1,200 NIS per month. With assistance from Atta’a volunteers, she submitted a special form available from the Ministry of Health that asked for a special discount on the medication. Her request was approved – now she receives an 80% (!) discount on this child’s medication.

This story is just one of many that Atta’a’s 15 volunteers encounter on a regular basis in one of their three help centers that cover all Jerusalem: Wadi Joz, Sur Baher and their main center in Beit Hanina.

Atta'a drop-in center in action

Atta’a drop-in center in action

In addition to individual consultation, Atta’a also provides group workshops on realizing rights, in health care, vis-a-vis the National Insurance Institute, and vis-a-vis the Ministry of the Interior. For example, on July 25, Daud our Atta’a director presented a workshop on rights available from the National Insurance Institute at a conference on type 1 diabetes for residents from East Jerusalem, which was held in cooperation with Magen David Adom. Other workshops covered family re-unification processes, together with the welfare office in Shuafat.

In order to drive up participation they’ve distributed flyers throughout East Jerusalem, such as in the Old City, Wadi Joz, Issawiya, Sur Baher, Silwan, Abu Tor, Ras el-Amud, A-Tur and the Shuafat Refugee Camp. They have also distributed flyers in front of the offices of the National Insurance Institute and the Ministry of the Interior.

Atta'a flyer

Atta’a flyer

Soon we’ll have a new handbook out, on accessibility rights. Stay tuned!

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for their continued support of this program.