Who they are?
- The Hebron International Resource Network (HIRN) is an international organization that seeks to to increase cooperation and collaboration among members of the Palestinian society. . By providing steadfastness elements to the most vulnerable communities in the West Bank, they strive to unify like-minded people to lessen the impact of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Palestine. that affirms the right of these Palestinians to their lands in the face of increased settler harassment, intimidation and an Israeli policy designed to uproot them from their lands.
How did they start?
- The idea to create the Hebron International Resource Network was born in 2010, and became a reality during 2011 with the registration of the organization in Sweden. It is a Scandinavia – Hebron Initiative that was established by a resident of Hebron and a group of Scandinavians after having identified certain gaps that needed to be filled within the areas of research, information, exchanges, networking and smaller projects. Since its establishment in 2011, it has support the Palestinian communities of West Bank.
Where are they based and what areas to they provide assistance to?
- While the group has a presence in Scandinavia that focuses on networking and advocacy, the core of HIRN consists of the resource center which operates on the ground in the city of Hebron. It is run on a voluntary basis by a group of dedicated Palestinians and international workers. The network provides various forms of assistance to the most vulnerable households and communities in the Governorates of Hebron and Bethlehem. They primarily operate in villages of the South Hebron Hills and the Israeli-administered H2 area of Hebron.
What is the principal work of the organization?
HIRN works to promote and support education for Palestinian Children by improving the educational facilities and overall educational environment within Palestine. The organization provides funding for the completion of educational infrastructure projects while also assisting in the completion of such projects on the ground. The types of educational projects and funding HIRN engages in includes:
- Building school classes to create access to education for women.
- Providing college students funds for tuition
- Constructing and operating kindergartens
- Renovating schools and other educational structures
- Building the capacity of the teachers by providing resources and training materials
What are some of the specific projects they have provided assistance to?
HIRN has amassed a number of initiatives through the last few years that have proven essential in helping develop the communities of the Palestinians through the Hebron area. Some of their incredible projects include:
- Madam Huda’s Kindergarten in Khashem Al Daraj (2012): Located southeast of the Hebron Governorate, Madam Huda has been running a one-room kindergarten in which 40 children used to attend since the year 2009. HIRN, in cooperation with UNRWA and other partners, managed to build from scratch a brand new and spacious kindergarten that has become an icon in the community.
The Al Shuhada Street Kindergarten (2013): This kindergarten has been the center piece of HIRN’s intervention in the Old City of Hebron. HIRN, in cooperation with UNRWA, was instrumental in the cleaning of the house that was transformed into a kindergarten, the furnishing, the payment of salaries to the staff, the placement of artificial grass on the property, in addition to the refurbishment of the interior.
- In 2017, they took measurement sat the Al Shuhada Street Kindergarten to install covers of the courtyards as to provide shade for the students.
- Renovation of the Kindergarten of Umm Al Khair (2014): HIRN has been engaged with the Umm Al Khair kindergarten since its inception in 2009. HIRN has actively engaged in the renovation of an old house in the marginalized community of Umm Al Khair. In cooperation with the Villages Group, HIRN placed solar panels, tiles, bathroom units as well as a shading area in the educational facility.
The Qurduba School (2015): The uniqueness of the Qurduba school is that it is located right across from the settlement of Beit Hadassa on Al Shuhada Street, in the city center of Hebron. This was a tough project as HIRN (in cooperation with the Temporary International Presence in Hebron, TIPH) had to demolish the sanitary unit at the school and rebuild it from scratch. The old sewage system in the school did not make it a smooth project and the fact that they had only 15 days to do such made them work (along with our partners Youth Against Settlement, the Christian Peacemakers Teams, CPT and the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, EAPPI) around the clock to finish the project on time.
- As of 2017, HIRN finished the first phase in the playground of Qurduba School as the falling wall was re-established and the play structures were put up. They are now taking the steps to install the artificial grass around the playground. However, the roof of one of the classrooms has caved in. It was a miracle that nobody was in the classroom when the roof fell as it would have killed anyone who was inside. Qurduba has lost three classrooms (due to bad roof conditions) which has a negative ripple effect on the other classrooms. The classrooms need major renovations as they hope to work on such in the very near future.
Zweidin Girls School in South Hebron (2016): HIRN and its partners managed to transform the community of Zif via the establishment of a school specifically for girls in May 2016. The school reduced the dropout rate of the girls, a problem that was faced by the community due to the fact that no other girl's school was present in the region. After the 8th grade, the girls are faced with the problem of having to travel more than 10 kilometers to reach the nearest girls school that offers education to the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th graders. Such a distance is far enough that the ghost of dropping out of school started to hover over the future of these girls yet again. In cooperation and close consultation with the Palestinian Ministry of Education, the community of Zif, and the administration of the school, HIRN decided that the best solution to thwart this threat would be the addition of two more caravans to function as classrooms. But in order to get accreditation from the Ministry for the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades, another bureaucratic problem has surfaced, as the school must have a science lab that corresponds with the curriculum. As such, this project also calls for the establishment of the needed science lab.
- The Zweidin Science Lab received equipment for a biology, chemistry and physics lab as promised in 2017. HIRN helped raise the money for the physics, biology and chemistry labs throughout the second part of 2017. They will be putting up a commemorative sign that lists the names of all those who contributed to the building of the caravan hosting the lab as well as the purchase of the lab equipment.
What does the resource center aspect of the organization do to help the Palestinian community?
HIRN also serves a number of other purposes to help the Palestinian community at-large including their role as a resource center. Their resource center operates as a scholarly database for academics wanting to advance their studies or to get to know more about the situation in the occupied-Palestinian territories (oPt) and the Middle East in general. The resource center:
- Provides a large number of documents, reports, and fact sheets regarding the on-going conflicts in the occupied-Palestinian territories and the entire Middle East.
- Serves as a meeting space for internationals wanting to explore Palestine even further (as such, the organization offers living space for internationals at very competitive prices designed to make their stay in Palestine easier and less costly)
Where can I learn more about them?
- HIRN is pleased to inform you in detail about any of their completed or ongoing projects in detail, but also about their work in general. Please, do not hesitate to contact them under the following address if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org