Ten years ago, my brother Noubar and my then fiancé Manar and I had a dream. We wanted to use the principles of nonviolence and love to help our community heal from ongoing trauma.
As we sat around the kitchen table in my tiny apartment, we dreamt of nurturing children caught in the crosshairs of Occupation and communal poverty. We would empower women left out of the economy and support families struggling under tremendous pressure to cope. We would name our dream House of Hope, a movement for Palestinians and by Palestinians.
We knew that our work was desperately needed. All around us we saw our community struggling. The Israeli Separation Wall was slowly surrounding our villages, isolating us from Jerusalem, our cultural and economic lifeline. Our youth began acting more aggressively, sometimes responding with depression and violence to the toxic stress that filled their lives.
Something had to be done. But we couldn’t do it alone.
We reached out to friends around the world, friends like you who care about the health and wellness of Palestinians in crisis. And you made a huge difference in our lives.
We launched House of Hope Vision school to help children overcome trauma-induced obstacles to learning. Since then, you have helped us transform the lives of thousands. You helped us deliver after school and summer school programs to children who have nowhere to go but the streets. With you, we brought vocational training within reach for Palestinian women trying to start their careers. And you helped young people take responsibility for the society they live in through community organizing around issues that affect them directly.
Our first students are now young adults who often tell us that House of Hope changed the course of their lives. This success comes from the power of what you stand for: hope and compassion.
You are making a profound difference in our community.
In his poem, “Think Upon Others,” Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish wrote: “And while you think of faraway others, think of yourself and say: I am a candle to this darkness.” Thank you for standing with us.
Vision Association for Culture and Arts (VACA) is a nongovernmental organization that strengthens Palestinian civil society with holistic elementary education, accessible vocational training and dynamic social support for marginalized children, youth, and women in the suburbs of Jerusalem. VACA operates House of Hope Vision School, the first holistic elementary school in the West Bank founded on the principles of nonviolence.
A prosperous Palestine that preserves the dignity of every human by upholding the vital principles of nonviolence, educational equity, and civil society engagement for social change.
Supporting Hope is a U.S. 501(c )3 nonprofit that partners with Palestinian civil society organizations putting educational opportunity, communal wellness and hope within reach for vulnerable communities in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. 100% of all donations gathered by Supporting Hope for House of Hope are transferred to House of Hope. The Supporting Hope tax identification number is 81-2842786.
Vision Association for Culture and Arts, which operates House of Hope Vision school, is a non- political NGO registered with the Palestinian Ministry of Education, Palestinian Ministry of the Interior, and Palestinian Ministry of Culture. In October 2019, the Palestinian Ministry of Education recognized House of Hope as the first and only Waldorf kindergarten in the West Bank.
Vision Association for Culture and Arts works with universities, nonprofits and other organizations to strengthen Palestinian civil society by upholding the vital principles of nonviolence, educational equity, and grassroots engagement. Our partners contribute more than money. Their ideas, volunteer power, in-kind support and more are helping build a healthy Palestine.