The HOPE Foundation explained in Mission, Vision and Strategy
Mission: By offering playful lessons in the fields of art and culture HOPE aims to help traumatized and handicapped children to build a meaningful life for themselves.
Vision: We envision a future where children are able to cope with the effects of war in the best way possible and where the basic requirements for leading a life that is worthwhile are available to all.
Strategy: For the Khan Younis Open Studio team, which offers the lessons in art and culture, HOPE acts as a source of inspiration and as initiator for projects.
The Open Studio
The Open Studio started as an initiative of HOPE. It is a center for exchanging knowledge and skills on working in the field of the arts with children with a specialisation for children with special needs. Each year around 1500 children are inscribed and many more reached with the outreach programs in te remote areas.
Whenever the political situation permits, artists and art therapists are flown in from abroad to train and inspire local staff. The studio works in close collaboration with the PRCS University College of Ability Development in Khan Younis.
The Open Studio has an auxiliary branch. Over the past few years Open Studio employees based in Khan Younis have developed new initiatives in camps that are further afield.
Just imagine a hundred thousand children having their summer vacation in the stifling heat and with no place to go. So it is very important that all kinds of things are organized to help the children get through the summer and to offer them new and exciting experiences to distract them from their daily worries.
Every year HOPE supports between six and eight different summer camps. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society organizes a summer camp in Khan Younis in collaboration with the Open Studio. In other parts of Gaza local artists and local organizations organize summer camps in themes like theatre, music, social media and community art.
Over a period of two months many hundreds of children participate in these Summer Camps.
It is our wish to develop a knowledge platform for refugee camps, for instance for the camps in surrounding countries such as Syria, Jordan and the Lebanon or elsewhere in the world. To achieve this, we want to develop a method for transferring knowledge that people in camps can start using immediately.
BeeHome will be a platform where children can learn through arts and games. This will be done by offering a continuously growing collection of films, made by children, that are visualisations of their traditional stories. These films are accompanied by short, one-minute instruction films, the so-called ‘How To’ films, that enable the children to replicate the techniques that were used in the films.
Platform BeeHome will also be a tool for any teacher or social worker to imply the arts in their work with children.
More info: www.beehomeacademy.com
As a response to the lack of art education in the south of Gaza, HOPE decided to open an Academy for children who show an extra interest in and talent for art.
The Academy is run by two local artists and is a place where these children can learn new techniques, develop their vision, work together and exchange ideas.
The curriculum exists of weekly meetings including lessons in various art techniques, trips to cultural institutions and guest lessons from artists and other professionals. It also functions as a space for professional artists to come together and discuss their work and the local artistic developments.
MYUZ is a breakdancer and sports teacher who for many years has devoted his free time to working with children. Until now he trained with them on the beach or on the street. He teaches them Breakdance, strength training and free running and regularly organizes public dance-events. The MUYZ group has an important exemplary function for the youth and is followed closely both live and online.
Myuz told HOPE that especially the children need more structured guidance, long-term support and a safe space to practice. Therefor HOPE decided to support Myuz in opening the first Breakdance Academy in Gaza where he and two other coaches can teach the local children with full attention and focus.
Social Media Club (in collaboration with Media Life)
While living in a closed off area, being online can be the only way to connect with the world outside.
In the social media club, a group of young teenagers gets lessons in how to make online artworks that share their
stories and post them online in an effective, safe and responsible way.
This gives the youth of Gaza a voice and a opportunity to get in touch with a broader world and a window op opportunities in a land where they sense little hope for a better future.
The HOPE Foundation was founded in 1996 (Chambers of Commerce registration number 04058566). The driving forces behind this initiative were Fathi Arafat, Jean Calder, Willem Vugteveen, Riekus Feijen and Ingrid Rollema.
Since 1992 there have been regular visits to Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
The history of the Open Studio is a history of people rising up against the fundamental injustice inflicted on others.