Our activities are open for everybody and they are for free. So people now know us. They know that if they want to participate in the activity, they can come and participate.

Today’s Good People, Good Works will be presented in Arabic and English, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

Welcome, good-natured viewers, to today’s edition of Good People, Good Works featuring the first in a two-part series on Project Hope, a Palestinian non-profit volunteer organization that provides educational and artistic opportunities for Palestine’s less fortunate young adults and children. The group also conducts practical training sessions in humanitarian relief work to empower the younger generation with hope and skills for the future.

Project Hope, as you can see from the name, is an initiative that tries to give hope to children in this area. Project Hope has been in existence for the last six years. We provide different kinds of activities for the kids.

Project Hope’s programs are varied and include “Bridge to the World,” where children create a blog in a foreign language to connect to people in other nations, workshops on human rights and conflict resolution, English and French language classes, creative arts classes, and musical workshops. Many of these activities involve international instructors.

I think it's important to bring the world to the kids, especially to show them that there are other people that are living here that they can communicate with. And I think part of the thing that gives hope to the children is to see that there are other people in the world that care about them, that care about their situation, and when they come here, it's like giving them energy and giving them hope, and I think that's important.

Because, when you see the people that come here, they come to help, they come from Korea. They come from Japan. They come from Canada or from France and they come to help you. This gives you hope that there are these people who want to help you. They care about you and this gives you energy to continue. And so, it's important to give the kids this positive energy and these hopeful circumstances and atmosphere.

Palestinian young people are keen to learn English because to qualify for many university scholarships, one must be able to speak the language and English fluency opens many doors in terms of employment opportunities. Let’s learn more about Project Hope’s English as a second language courses.

Basically, in these courses we want people to learn English because it's a global language now and it's needed by the community. For other courses, for example, even with English, like when an international (organization) comes to give a class in the (refugee) camp, in one of the camps here in Nablus, they would be able to talk to the children or the women to learn more about their lives, and the students could express themselves through these courses or through drama or arts classes.

So it’s a changing experience for them. It's both a teaching and learning process because not only does the student learn something, but also the teacher learns something from these students.

Yes, I’ve been volunteering with Project Hope for two years. I graduated in 2007, and I came here as a local volunteer as a start, and I was working in another organization. Afterwards SCI International, which is Service Civil International in Europe, they chose me to participate there, and when I came back here three months ago I officially was employed in Project Hope as the English coordinator.

With the help of volunteers, Project Hope is making a wonderful contribution to the welfare of the communities north of the West Bank, particularly the city of Nablus and its refugee camps.

We are now working in the district of Nablus and there are around 330,000 inhabitants. That's a lot of people. South of the West Bank, Ramallah, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, they have a lot of NGOs that are based there. So the northern West Bank, we think, is more in need of our activities. So we try to focus on the north of the West Bank. Now we have started doing activities in other cities like Tulkarm, Jenin, and the villages north of Nablus.

In Nablus you have four refugee camps, including the Balata refugee camp, which is the biggest in the West Bank. Most of the people that are refugees in Nablus come from the area of Jaffa, which is now part of Tel Aviv, and they come from the rural area. So they come from the villages around Jaffa.

And the villagers, their wealth is the land. Because they used to own land, orchards with plants and things like that. So when they came here, they lost everything that they owned. So they came here with nothing. And so, they became refugees without income.

So this is why the refugee camps now in Nablus are the poorest areas in the city. And this is why we think that it's important for us to work in these areas, these poor neighborhoods now, the refugee camps and to try and help them with the different kinds of activities, which can range from language courses, to art, to drama, to music.

When we return, we’ll hear more about Project Hope, which is greatly benefitting Palestinian communities. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

Welcome back to Good People, Good Works here on Supreme Master Television. We now continue our interview with the dedicated staff of Palestine’s non-profit, volunteer-based organization, Project Hope. Mr. Hakim Sabbah, director of the group now discusses how Project Hope makes its constructive programs available to a diverse population.

We have activities throughout the year. In the summer, of course, it’s from the morning to the whole day. We hold our activities every day in the winter and the summer until 8:00 PM. During school days, we work with the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) schools, the United Nations schools in the refugee camps, and we have activities in the morning and during school hours.

The schools here stop at about 12, 1 o'clock. So we have the whole afternoon for activities. In the mornings sometimes we start as early as 7:00 AM in the schools. And then, during the morning until 12 o'clock, we mostly have activities for housewives. And then after 12 o'clock, we have activities for all the different segments of the public. So we try to have activities throughout the day for different categories of people.

We have language courses as well for housewives so that they can help their kids with their homework, when the kids are back from school, so that they have better command of the English language. Right now, we have 16 different groups for adults going a week for English, especially conversational English.

A fascinating Project Hope initiative is the publication of a graphic novel in English about the life experiences of the Palestinian people. The book, called the “West Bank Graphic Novel Stories” is made up of 12 tales, some fictional, others autobiographical, and is meant for locals and the international community.

We have arts for example, for university students. We are preparing the printing of the first graphic novel, which has been created by 12 young local Palestinian artists, university students. Graphic novel is an art form that is not known in Palestine, so we want to introduce this to the Palestinian community. And it's a means for them as artists to express what they want, to express their feelings on paper and so on.

Project Hope is deeply involved in the community life of Nablus and truly reaches a great number of the population through its programs.

We work in 40 different locations in the city, the four refugee camps, the old city, the city of Nablus, and some villages as well. And we touch the lives of between 700 and 1,000 beneficiaries of our activities a month.

In the summer we have more activities, during the yearly school vacation. And the number goes up to between 1,000 and 1,500 beneficiaries of the activities each month. The programs that we have developed throughout the years are the English teaching program and French as well. We teach other languages as well to their kids so that they would meet other cultures.

We think that it's very important for the children to meet people from other cultures. We had volunteers from the Far East. We've had volunteers from South Korea and from Japan. And we’ve taught Korean and Japanese over the past years as well. As I say, especially in this part of the world we think that it's important that they have hope and that they would live peaceful lives.

Project Hope is one of the NGOs that help Palestinians, like any other NGO in Palestine. We're not a very big NGO, but we try to give something with the resources available to us here at Project Hope, like giving free courses in English or other things for children. So any applicants who come to take an English course here don't pay any fees, only the exam fees, and it's not that much.

So we have lots of people coming here and I love the place here because everyone has an understanding between them and they are sharing wonderful experiences here. I think that Project Hope is really an important place. It's an important NGO and gives a lot to the Palestinian community.

I definitely would love to see peace here in Palestine, and definitely with the help of the international community, we're going to get there.

We thank all the staff members and volunteers of Project Hope, including director Hakim Sabbah, Janet Salah, and Haneen Masri for their dedication and commitment to bringing hope and peace to the Palestinian people! May your fine work continue to uplift the hearts of many more Palestinians.

Honored viewers, please join us again next Sunday on Good People, Good Works for the second part of our two-part series on Project Hope.

For more details on Project Hope, please visit www.ProjectHope.ps

Thank you for joining us today on our program. May harmony and love always be with you.