Hoping stands for Hope and Optimism for Palestinians in the Next Generation. Supporting Palestinian children is a real catalyst for change. Young Palestinian refugees need the simple chances and ordinary possibilities that can offer them creative solutions to their lives. The most important thing we can do is to help generate these possibilities, giving them a belief in the promise of a better future. We want to show young Palestinians that their struggle to transform their lives is encouraged and supported by the people in Britain and throughout the rest of the world.
At Hoping we provide grants to grassroots community associations working with young people in the refugee camps. Our application procedure ensures that it is the Palestinians themselves who identify their needs and design the activities we support. We work closely with local Palestinian volunteers in the refugee camps, particularly through the Youth Activity Centres, which are at the heart of the camp communities. The projects we are asked to support give these children the opportunity to play, to learn, and to express themselves through art, photography, film, music, theatre, dance and sport.
Where do the refugees live?
A third of Palestinian refugees that are registered with UNRWA live in 59 refugee camps in Jordon, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, and the West Bank.
The facilities in these refugee camps are administrated by UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency) with which Hoping has a special affiliation through our Hoping for UNRWA association. The rest live in and around the cities and towns of the Arab host countries and in the occupied Palestinian territories, often in the environs of the refugee camps.
The majority of Palestinian refugees reside throughout the Middle East and so Hoping supports activities and projects for young Palestinian refugees wherever they live, in the West Bank and Gaza as well as Syria, Lebanon. Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and further afield.
Who are the Palestinian Refugees?
Palestinians are the world's largest refugee population, and comprise over a third of all refugees worldwide. Many of those living in the refugee camps are now third and fourth generation refugees.
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced to leave their homes in 1948 when Israel was created, and again in 1967 during the six day war. At first families lived in tents; they did not plan to stay long, expecting to be able to return to their homes, towns, farms and villages. Today they are still living in the same refugee camps waiting for a solution to the conflict, their lives on hold, caught in terrible circumstances.
There are currently over 8 million Palestinian refugees worldwide. More than half of them are children under the age of 15, whose parents and grandparents were born in the refugee camps. The majority of Palestinian refugee children live difficult and harsh lives, facing the realities of continued Israeli occupation, the trauma of war, severe overcrowding, unemployment, and reliance on international handouts.