Start A Petition

Brighten the Future of Gaza's Children

World  (tags: middle-east, Gaza, blackouts, solar lamps, children, studies, education, security, Palestinian NGOs, Luci lanterns, global giving, Rebuilding Alliance, matching donation )

- 770 days ago -
10 years of blockade on Gaza has resulted in widespread darkness with power only available for four hours a day in rolling blackouts. 750,000 children are affected by electricity shortages, forced to use kerosene lamps and candles with horrific accidents


We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.


Evelyn B (63)
Sunday May 14, 2017, 2:48 am

The sole power plant in Gaza has shut down. Electricity is out 20 hours/day, making the simplest of tasks difficult. Help send solar-powered Luci lanterns through the blockade to children in Gaza so they can study and play safely when the power is out. We partner with Palestinian NGOs to distribute lights directly to families in need. A 2-for-1 matching grant now sends twice as many lights. Help empower Gaza's next generation, help open the blockade, and bring hope to all. It's Time for Light.


10 years of blockade on Gaza has resulted in widespread darkness with power only available for four hours a day in rolling blackouts. 750,000 children are affected by electricity shortages and are forced to use kerosene lamps and candles with horrific accidents. Life is put on hold when the sun goes down - studying is difficult and playing is unsafe. Imagine being a student and not having light to finish your homework, or a little child without a nightlight. Solar lanterns change this.

With your help, we are delivering thousands of solar-powered lights to children in Gaza so they can read and study. Rebuilding Alliance has been working with Non Governmental Organizations in Gaza since 2003. Pre-clearance is secured before shipments through both Palestinian and Israeli Customs offices. We will soon send our 4th pallet with a double shipment of 5860 solar lights for arrival in time for exams. With your donation our 5th shipment can arrive during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Long-Term Impact

The reassurance of a little light lets Palestinian children know that the world cares about their future. In Gaza, there's a special tradition during Ramadan to give children a 'fanous' lantern to help them realize their own light within. Let's extend that tradition to people the world over, encouraging all to shine a solar light in their own home to come to know the children and families of Gaza, and to connect with each other through this program to build sustainable peace for all: #bealight

Evelyn B (63)
Sunday May 14, 2017, 2:50 am
Even if you can't afford to donate directly, you COULD help!


Brighten the Future Spring 2017
By Penni Thorpe - Manager, Brighten the Future of Gaza's Children

Let me introduce myself. I am Penni , the new Brighten the Future Program Manager at Rebuilding. My experience is in the alternative healing profession, specializing in maternal/child health and as a founder/board member/teacher/oversight of a local nonprofit yoga center. I have followed Rebuilding Alliance’s work for the past 3 years, volunteering to help, and have been impressed by the mission to rebuild war-torn communities. I have been an avid supporter of solar technologies and so am thrilled to be able to help support a project that provides solar-powered lights to Gaza and improves the lives of children and families there.

As we move into Spring and are celebrating the first full year of this project, we are so thankful for those who have contributed to the Brighten the Future of Gaza’s Children program.

I am delighted to let you know that our Brighten the Future team is really growing:

Our dear mentor, Abu, has joined the team as the Brighten the Future Development Leader. He is himself from Gaza and has long been a teacher of Arabic and the Koran here in the SF bay area. He is working to introduce our program to all the mosques in the area.

We have also hired Zainab and Doaa, the first two of five local coordinators who will bring our program to their communities and inspire them to participate in this project through donations or volunteerism.

Zainab learned about this project from her cousin who is an imam in one of the mosques that has been very supportive of our Brighten the Future of Gaza’s Children project. As an undergraduate in Political Science and Psychology and a leader in the Muslim Youth of North America she is a great addition to our team. Welcome Zainab!

Doaa saw our table at the MCA masjed in Santa Clara. She has been following our work for quite a while and has volunteered to help with our Gaza projects in the past. Doaa is currently the president of the Muslim Student Association at San Jose State University and will soon graduate with a major in creative writing and professional and technical writing. Doaa is a longtime activist for Palestine who "wants to help in any way possible such as through writing, therapy, or coordinating events." Welcome Doaa!

And you may be happy to hear that Donna has hired an Executive Assistant, Ryan. Ryan graduated from U.C. Santa Barbara in 2008 with a B.S. in Geography (Concentration in Geographic Information Science) and a
B.A. in Sociology. He is supporting Donna's work and last week she was in Belgium at the RightsCon human rights and technology conference to present the Mapping Palestine Mapathon.

We are honored to announce that Churches for Middle East Peace has launched the new initiative, Give Light, Be Light. They are partnering with Rebuilding Alliance and offering their 200 member churches the opportunity to send a solar light to Gaza and hold one advocacy meeting on the Hill with a Congressional office for Gaza. We are looking forward to new partnerships in the United States with many more mosques, churches, synagogues and other faith groups as well as school groups who want to support this project!

Rebuilding Alliance is about to send our 4th shipment to four Gaza Non-governmental Organization as soon as preclearance comes through. This shipment is bigger than ever: we're sending 5860 solar lights as the result of a wonderful matching grant! We'll have that two-for-one matching grant (from a Texas energy company!) for the 5th shipment too.

We are also seeking preclearance for the 5th, 6th and 7th shipments at the same time so we can ship with ease in the future. Preclearance - this process of seeking approval to send our lights through the blockade before we even ship - is hard but if anyone can do this, Rebuilding Alliance can. That’s because we have done this before, sending three shipment of solar lights to date and building upon the seven shipments of emergency aid sent through the years.

As I write, Donna, our Executive Director, is on her way to Palestine and Israel and we should have word of approval in the next few days. If the preclearance is delayed in any way, Donna will be asking the U.S. Embassy's assistance and she is ready to meet with Israeli Customs and the Israeli Army if necessary. We’re getting thumbs-up encouragement from our shipping coordinator in Ramallah, and the State Department, Senator Feinstein’s office, and Representative Eshoo’s office are all standing by to help if this gets stuck.

Soon, a survey will begin of those who received the lights in the first 3 shipments. We are hiring Kareem who lives in Rafah, Gaza, to conduct this survey. Many of you may recognize Kareem as the oldest child of the family whom the late Rachel Corrie stood to protect when she was killed as she stood before an Israeli Army bulldozer 14 years ago. Their whole family have mentored Rebuilding Alliance for a very long time and Donna stayed over at their house last year during both her visits to Gaza to develop the Brighten the Future of Gaza’s Children program.

An exciting new campaign is now taking shape: shining the light at home as well as helping those in Gaza shine the light. A group of designers from the College of Dupage in Chicago are volunteering to help. We are currently calling it “It’s time for Light” We believe in the light in each human being and are asking everyone to spread the light of knowledge starting i in May. If you are interested in holding a house party to participate in this initiative please contact us. We’ll be featuring this new campaign in Rebuilding Alliance’s mobile app, Evincible! More on this soon.

Thank you again for supporting the Brighten the Future of Gaza’s Children project and for being a light in the darkness! GlobalGiving is holding a lovely matching grant this week for donations up to $50 - please do. Also, let us know if you would like to raise funds for this project by hosting a giving table with Luci Lights at your place of worship or school, holding a house party — or a talk at your Rotary Club. I look forward to working with you!

Evelyn B (63)
Sunday May 14, 2017, 2:52 am
Next steps in sending solar-powered lights to Gaza
By Donna Baranski-Walker - Founder and Executive Director

As we near the end of the year, we are so thankful to those who have contributed to the Brighten the Future of Gaza's Children project!

Good news: the Mpowered company is providing an in-kind matching grant! For every Luci Original light we send to Gaza's children, they will also send one Luci EMRG light too! This means we can ask our NGO partners to give each family three Luci Originals and a Luci EMRG for each child!

Your incredible support over this past year has allowed us to really ramp up since this project. We launched this project nearly a year ago because the daily rolling blackouts make even the simplest of tasks so difficult in Gaza. How can kids do their homework and study in the evening when the sun has gone down? Kerosene lamps and candles are too dangerous – there had to be another option.

Our first pallet of Luci Lights arrived in Gaza in April and was distributed by our Palestinian NGO partners, including Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, the Women’s Project Center in Rafah, and the Al Basma Club for the Disabled. I was able to be there to help with distribution and the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme team had me join their social workers to go with them to each family's home. Some were living in tents, some in caravans (mobile homes like in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina) while awaiting a new house. Others were in their new house already or moved-in even during construction. All had experienced terrible loss. All I had to give was our little light - and how graciously and warmly they were received and appreciated.

The second pallet arrived in June and the Al Basma Club for the Disabled managed distribution to the disabled community in Northern Gaza. This second pallet was particularly meaningful because it arrived during the holy month of Ramadan, when parents give small lanterns to their children (called a fanoos) as a reminder to be a light in the darkness. They also included all 90 families in one of the caravan parks. Back in April, we were only able to give them to 5 families and that nearly caused a riot. I kept my promise: now every family received one - a caravan park filled with light.

Our third pallet arrived in September, and the Women's Program Center in Rafah carefully and thoughtfully distributed them to children and families in need. These photos and the delightful video by photographer Mohammad Mansur are all from the 3rd shipment.

"Yes, our Luci lights are still working! We are very happy with them" reports Kareem the oldest child (now adult) in the family whom Rachel Corrie sought to protect. Kareem and his wife just had their first child.

We're placing our order now for shipment of our 4th pallet - much bigger this time: 2880 Luci Originals plus 2880 Luci EMRG. Since Israeli and Palestinian Customs had only approved the first 3 pallets, we are now applying for pre-approval for our next three pallets. The State Department and members of Congress are standing by to help if we experience any delays — so far so good.

Thank you again for supporting the Brighten the Future of Gaza’s Children project and for being a light in the darkness! Please let us know if you would like to raise money for this project by hosting a giving table with Luci Lights at your place of worship or school — or a talk at your Rotary Club. We hope to bring a speaking from Gaza in the year to come and are starting now to work through the details.

Evelyn B (63)
Sunday May 14, 2017, 2:54 am

It worked- again! Luci Lights reach children in Gaza.
By Tamsin Avra - Contact Congress Coordinator (July 2016)

It worked- again! Our second pallet of Luci solar-powered lanterns arrived in Gaza on Sunday! Though we already knew that donations of aid could be directly received by Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations, it was still such exciting and encouraging news to hear that the shipment had cleared the blockade and arrived successfully. This pallet was received by the Al Basma Club for the Disabled (ABCD), a Palestinian Non-Governmental Organization based in Gaza City. ABCD was established in early 2005 as a response to the physical and social needs of the disabled, especially youth and children.

Al Basma's team brought 300 Luci lights to 90 families whose homes were entirely demolished - they are staying in temporary homes called caravans. We had asked ABCD to distribute there because when the social workers from Gaza Community Mental Health Programme brought Donna, Rebuilding Alliance's Executive Director there in April, we could only deliver solar lights to the five families in the care of the social workers. Now Al Basma's team brought light to the other families too.

During the holy month of Ramadan, the gift of light is especially meaningful. Parents give their children a fanoos, or lantern, as a reminder to be a light in the darkness. With as little as four hours of electricity a day, this little Luci light can be a big help during this special month, when families come together to celebrate. Al Basma Club also delivered solar powered Luci Lights to their 300 members who include deaf and physically disabled people as well as the able-bodied in Beit Layha in the north of Gaza. Their team then distributed to the most needy children in the Jabalya refugee camp and they gave 250 lights to the children at the Al Amal Orphans Center in Gaza. Al Basma also shared the shipment with the Women's Project Center in Rafah, who is distributing them during the Eid celebration.

We look forward to bringing you a photo montage of Eid in Gaza, through the glow of solar-powered Luci Lights! Here is a link to a video made for us by the very talented Mohamed Monsour, who also took all the attached photos.

A big thank you to everyone who donated to send this second pallet of solar lights! We just placed the order this past week to send the third pallet of solar Luci Lights. Thank you for your support and caring — thank you for being a light in the darkness, a light of the world!



Jonathan Harper (0)
Sunday May 14, 2017, 3:23 am

Peggy B (43)
Sunday May 14, 2017, 7:19 am

Lona Goudswaard (66)
Sunday May 14, 2017, 7:53 am
Donated a lamp

fly b (26)
Sunday May 14, 2017, 8:50 am
Glad you posted this.

Thank you, Evelyn!

Past Member (0)
Sunday May 14, 2017, 11:19 am
Shared thanks

Evelyn B (63)
Sunday May 14, 2017, 12:28 pm
That means you helped donate 2, Lona! *******************************************************

Darren Woolsey (218)
Sunday May 14, 2017, 12:52 pm
Great idea. SHARED all over social media to raise and spread awareness.

fly b (26)
Sunday May 14, 2017, 8:06 pm
Race of Recognition Dinner. April 23rd, 2017

Google Maps has finally added 236 previously-omitted Palestinian villages to its maps of the West Bank. To celebrate, we hosted a dinner and award ceremony to present Rebuilding Alliance's Peacemaker Award to those whose hard work and dedication made this possible. In addition to Right to Movement - Palestine (accepted by co-founder George Zeidan), Bimkom: Planners for Planning Rights, and the Geospatial Information Systems Department at the Palestine Ministry of Local Governments, the Peacemaker Award was presented to Rep. Anna Eshoo, who has been tireless in the pursuit of justice. Watch part of her acceptance speech below.

Full video: Rep. Eshoo accepting RA's Peacemaker Award.

“To do something big — to think globally and act globally — one starts with something small and one starts where it counts.”

– Oxford Prof. Nabeel Hamdi

Rebuilding Alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to rebuilding war-torn communities and bringing the world together to make them safe.

fly b (26)
Sunday May 14, 2017, 8:13 pm
Rebuilding Alliance.

Current Projects.

Sheryl G (359)
Monday May 15, 2017, 12:10 pm
Pre-clearance is secured before shipments through both Palestinian and Israeli Customs offices.

I like that this was specified within the article because so many might be hesitant not knowing if the lamps will actually reach the people.

What a wonderful gift, something so practical but can make a big difference in their lives. I received $20 for a birthday gift and saved it for the right reason to spend it. I have found the reason, so another lamp is on it's way. I will also share this on FB.

Dawnie W (250)
Tuesday May 16, 2017, 1:26 am
❤️❤️Noted... ❤️❤️Thank you...Evelyn.❤️❤️

😉💜ღ❤️Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ😺♥L💙ve, Hugs and Peace go with you all♥😺Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ💛ღ❤️😉

Janet B (0)
Tuesday May 16, 2017, 1:42 pm

Colleen L (3)
Tuesday May 16, 2017, 2:08 pm
Thanks Evelyn

John B (185)
Tuesday May 16, 2017, 5:43 pm
Thanks Evelyn for sharing the link to this wonderful project. Bookmarked and will probably donate as soon as I get my SS check.

John B (185)
Tuesday May 16, 2017, 5:44 pm
Thanks Dandelion for sharing the additional info.

fly b (26)
Wednesday May 17, 2017, 3:55 am
Sharing, thanks again, Evelyn

Janet B (0)
Wednesday May 17, 2017, 1:00 pm

S J (124)
Thursday May 18, 2017, 2:34 am
Meows Evelyn

Indah s (0)
Thursday May 18, 2017, 5:52 am
shared!! thank you

Margie FOURIE (148)
Friday May 19, 2017, 3:13 am
Thank you

Margie FOURIE (148)
Friday May 19, 2017, 5:00 am
Thanks again

Debra G (0)
Friday May 19, 2017, 2:30 pm
One of the major reasons for the blackouts is the Palestinian Authority is fed up paying the energy bill for Gaza while Hamas factions are fighting each other for control. It is possible that Gazans will be fed up with their government and vote to reinstate PA control, moving toward peaceful economic development. Politics, politics, politics...

Winn Adams (179)
Saturday May 20, 2017, 8:45 am
Thanks Evelyn

Janet B (0)
Saturday May 20, 2017, 12:18 pm

Freya H (345)
Sunday May 21, 2017, 4:38 pm
Just donated a trio of lamps.

Margie FOURIE (148)
Tuesday May 23, 2017, 3:34 am
Thanks again

fly b (26)
Tuesday May 23, 2017, 3:28 pm
donated, thank you for this great opportunity to help the children in Gaza - it isn't much, but everything helps.

End the siege of Gaza and the ikllegal Israeli occupation of Palestine, NOW!

and - end all U.S. aid to ISRAEL. Time it starts using it's own money, not that of American taxpayers', if it wants to abuse Palestinian children human rights and those of their families.
Enough is enough.
The greedy will pay in due course for the crimes against humanity, in Gaza. Israel has been trying to suffocate Palestinians and has deprived them of their natural resources, using one ploy and another, not stopping at war, to get access to natural gas reserves and land - that does not belong to Israel a never did.

How the old whining and complaining is so OLD... how do people learn to do this, over and over, with no conscience.. one can wonder.

Looks like it's the same old righteous tyranny, in days of old.. and same ways, OT and nightmares of dominance and control, are plain - wisdom and truth are still lacking...

Raleigh k (358)
Tuesday May 23, 2017, 5:12 pm
noted thanks

Margie FOURIE (148)
Friday June 9, 2017, 1:22 am
Thanks again

fly b (26)
Thursday December 28, 2017, 6:21 pm
Desperate need for donations. Thank you

fly b (26)
Saturday December 30, 2017, 6:12 pm
It's Time for Light!

Send two solar lanterns to Gaza's Children and shine yours every Wednesday.

In Gaza, electricity is still blacked out for 20 hours each day, which makes even the simplest of tasks impossible. That's why we're asking your help to send Nur Al Amal (Light of Hope) solar-powered lanterns through the blockade to children in Gaza so they can study and play safely when the power is out. Rebuilding Alliance partnered with four Palestinian Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to distribute lights directly to families in need. A 2-for-1 matching grant is in place to send a second LittleSun solar light for each one we buy. Help empower Gaza's next generation, help open the blockade, and bring hope to all.

#ItsTimeforLight. #NurAlAmal

How can you particpate and bring more light into the world?
•Donate money to send lights to Gaza. For a donation of as little as $50, we will send three LittleSun solar lights to Gaza and gift one to you in your window;
•Place lights in the window (need not be solar) on Wednesday nights to show you want to brighten the future of Gaza's Children;
•Take a picture of youself with your light in the window and upload it to Instagram, tagging @RebuildingAlliance #itstimeforlight #nuralamal

Thanks to the remarkable generosity of individuals, families, schools and faith groups and thanks to two matching grants, Rebuilding Alliance has sent a total of 27,000 Nur al Amal solar lights to date. But 750,000 children are impacted by this 10 year blockade — with your help, let's send 40,000 solar lights in 2018.

Image title

Here's what Gaza families are saying about what a difference the Nur Al Amal solar lanterns have made:

“I use (the solar lanterns) always at night to teach my children instead of using candles because candles are very dangerous for us, but the solar light is much safer and easier. I use it to light the children's room because they are afraid of darkness when they go to the bathroom at night. They are not any more after using the solar lights. Finally, thanks a lot for people who do their best to help us in this very bad electricity situation.”

“My husband uses it when he goes to the mosque to pray at night and at dawn, and my children use it to light their rooms at night to study. Also I use it when I work in the kitchen and cook for the family. I want to thank God and I appreciate the efforts of those who sent the lights for us so it can help us in our lives. It is much easier to use for women and old people and for children and most importantly it is a really good alternative to candles. It is much safer than candles. Many accidents happened here in Gaza because of candles, families burnt because of using candles while sleeping at night. Our children are now safe with the solar lights.”

"I use it in studying at night. I am now in the high school and with this bad electricity that we live in, I suffer a lot because I need to study hard to get a high average. Nur Al Amal lantern is easy and doesn't cost anything, I put it in my room and I turn it on all the night when I am studying, it is a really good alternative for candles because it is much safer and I prefer it. Thank you, I am speechless and can't find the words to thank you."
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story

Loading Noted By...Please Wait


butterfly credits on the news network

  • credits for vetting a newly submitted story
  • credits for vetting any other story
  • credits for leaving a comment
learn more

Most Active Today in World

Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.

New to Care2? Start Here.