034031010004Retaj coordinates a number of activities for women and children in the village of Asira al-Qibliya to empower marginalised members of our community.

Since summer 2013, Retaj has partnered with Music Harvest, an Irish organisation that works to teach music classes to under-resourced communities. International volunteers from Music Harvest have offered thrice-weekly music classes to children in the village, including lessons of guitar, violin, oud, and organ. Music concerts were also held as part of the summer camp and 20 children from Asira traveled to Ni’lin and Nablus to sing in the children’s choir.

Recognizing the importance of foreign language skills, Retaj facilitates English classes for children and youth ages 9-13. Classes are given by local women with English language fluency, as well as international volunteers.

Retaj offers many art classes and workshops to children and youth, seeking to unlock modes of creative expression through drawing, painting and craftwork.

1175044_531974173534908_2140377235_nRetaj volunteers organize an annual summer camp for teenage girls, ages 11-14. In the past two years, more than 135 girls have attended the camp, learning important life skills.

In 2013, Retaj facilitated psychotherapy sessions for both women and children, in partnership with UNRWA and the YMCA. The UNRWA-Retaj project provided 15 local children with 12 therapy sessions with qualified professional psychotherapists. The YMCA-Retaj project provided 20 women and children with eight therapy sessions.

First Aid workshops were provided through coordination with the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department of the European Commission (ECHO), as well as  Médecins du Monde. Women of Asira learned first aid skills to treat non-life-threatening injuries, important skills as the nearest hospital is nearly 15 kilometers away.

Première Urgence – Aide Médicale Internationale partnered with Retaj to provide livelihoods projects in food-making and handicrafts. During these ongoing projects, women of Asira are taught skills in jam making, embroidery, sewing, and a number of other useful skills. The women are able to sell their wares at local craft markets to provide much-needed income for their families.

1010393_526587417406917_1707100432_nUnion of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees partnered with Retaj in 2013 to provide a number of services to local women. Midwifery and pregnancy workshops were provided to teach new and expecting mothers helpful skills to raise their children. Home visits were also made to women who sought to give birth in their homes, as well as to bring formula to babies ages six months to three years.

The Palestinian Center for Democracy & Conflict Resolution (PCDCR) in Nablus provided four workshops in conflict resolution and anti-domestic violence for the women of Asira.