Smiling Faces Summer Camps

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These camps for boys and girls ages 6 to 14 meet in Nablus and in the nearby village of Asira al Shamaliya.  They serve between 300 and 500 children from those communities each summer, and the professional staff includes a director, two counselors, four aides, and 28 volunteers.  Camp programs focus on Palestinian folklore and culture, as well as giving children a chance to discover and explore the local environment through country walks, trips, and eco-learning.  Sports include skate-boarding, soccer, football, and swimming.  Healthy food, arts, crafts, music, theater, and traditional dancing (dabke) are also a part of the summer programs.

Open Gate Studio

PHF is developing a recording studio in its office space in downtown Nablus, which will be made available to school children and adolescents in the community who will receive training in the use of the equipment.  With the studio’s equipment, traditional music and contemporary Palestinian songs will be recorded and shared with the wider community.  The staff at PHF will facilitate the recording of the oral history of Palestine from Palestinian elders.

After School Programs in the Fall, Winter, and Spring

PHF offers after-school programs to support needy children, especially those who are falling behind in the classroom. These include language classes in English and Arabic, mathematics tutoring, as well as arts, crafts, dancing, and music. The purpose of these classes is to help develop the capacities of students and increase their confidence. Healthy snacks are provided to attendees of the programs.

Girl Scout Troops

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The Nablus girls scout troop was founded in 2013 with an initial group of 19 girls. Today, more than 200 girls are a part of the troops throughout Nablus. These troops meet weekly and give adolescent girls an opportunity to engage in music, dance, and social service projects, such as delivering food and warm clothing to the elderly, cleaning up the local environment, and helping local farms with the harvest.

Skate Board Parkskatepark girl

The skate park was created as a partnership between PHF, the Municipality of Asira al Shamaliya, and SkatePal. The park was constructed in 2015 by volunteers from these organizations.  Volunteers from SkatePal come to Asira in the spring, summer, and fall to train children and adolescents in this sport. The introduction of a new sport to Palestine has increased the possibilities for recreational activities for children as there are not many places for children to play in Palestine. There is a playground next to the skatepark which was donated by Playgrouds for Palestine. On a typical weekend, you can find 50-100 children playing here. An area for families to relax while the children play is going to be constructed soon as well as an open-air theater near to the skate park.

Workshops in Civic Education and Entrepreneurial Training for Young People

Workshops in civic education have been held in partnership with Manchester University to educate governmental and non-governmental employees about civics. Entrepreneurial training for youth occurs as a part of the Smiling Faces Summer Camp in which children learn about growing crops and other micro-enterprises.

E-Learning Programs

These programs take place in several nearby villages and are organized in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Education.  They offer adolescents the chance to pursue their education electronically when the Israeli military occupation makes it impossible for them to attend school. This project is a cooperation between PHF and World Vision.

Language Classes for Adults

English classes are taught in PHF’s offices in Nablus. There are classes for conversational practice as well as classes for the TOEFL and IELTS exam. These classes are a source of income to PHF, but if someone cannot pay they are still able to come for classes free of charge.

Embroidery Program for Women in the Community

PHF gives women the basic materials with which to make embroidery and design quilts.  These products are sold in exhibitions with most of the profit going to the women and a small portion going to PHF.

Village of Asira al ShamaliyaCultural Festivals

Festivals are held once a year in collaboration with the municipalities of Nablus and Asira al-Shamaliya, and with An-Najah University.  These include craft exhibits, music, and dance.  There is also a museum of historical farm implements and artifacts which works to preserve Palestine’s agricultural heritage.