Campaign unsuccessfully ended on: 12 Jul,2017
I am Mohammed Manasrah.
I live in Wadi Foukin, a small picturesque village southwest of Bethlehem in the West Bank. It’s a beautiful village that used to be surrounded by beautiful hills, and is now completely surrounded by four illegal Israeli settlements.
I love my village and I love computers. Since I was a small child, my dream has been to work with computers. And I’ve always wanted to share my passion for computers with others.
Being a computer geek in Palestine comes with two big benefits. One is that it keeps you safe. If you sit at home with your keyboard and mouse, there is much less if a chance that you will find yourself clashing with Israeli soldiers, and possibly hurt. Another benefit, particularly when you live in such an isolated place, is that your computer opens the world for you. It’s a bridge to the world.
I noticed how bored and frustrated children in my village were. They would walk around aimlessly, improvise soccer games on agricultural fields, and fool around much too close to the surrounding settlements, where they might be tempted to do something silly and get in trouble.
These kids desperately needed something that would keep them away from trouble. Now, we are not talking about a handful of children but about hundreds. Thirty percent of the population of Wadi Foukin are children between the ages of 7 and 17.
So on May 17th, 2014, I raised some money, I bought 9 used computers and I started up my own computer center as a place where children can come to play games and learn how to use computers in as a safe place away from the violence and the danger of the streets. Children of my village used to come every day to use these computers for free. I felt proud of myself because I am doing something good for these children.
(This picture from 2014 when I first started the center)
I now want to go on and continue bringing positive change for children in my village by establishing a youth club in Wadi Foukin. My goal is to find a safe place away from streets where everyone can come and share his or her experiences. The club will provide regular cultural, educational and sport activities for about 370 children Between 7 - 17 years old which forms 30% of the residents where I am hoping to have both genders.
A youth club can build self esteem and skills, and help them change their lives for the better in positive ways. It does not solve the problem but it gives them a chance to grow up and believe that they will one day have the rights to their land and their lives like everyone else. it’s an investment in tomorrow.
In the summer of 2016, I was selected by www.newstoryleadership.org to go to Washington, DC to represent the youth of my age in Palestine to be able to share my kids, village and personal stories in order to bring some good attitudes to start the change. It was my first time for me to travel out of my country and to feel free!
Now, children don’t use these computers anymore because they are old and they crash a lot. As a first step, I want to buy 10 new computers to restart saving these kids. Help me achieving my dream and these children's dreams by supporting me raising money to buy these computers and some basic materials that will help starting the club.
(This is how the computers look like now)
My father, who is 63 years old took the first step by donating a room where we can use to establish the club and he promised to take care of the electricity. Now, it’s you who decide whether to start the project or to keep these children hanging around in the streets!!
Today, I can’t do everything, but that does not mean I can't do anything. I am not a victim. I am not powerless; my act of resistance is to refuse to give up.
Help spread the world,
I really appreciate you taking the time to read this. Anything that you can contribute would help significantly. Every little bit counts.
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