Contributions in support of Tent of Nations and the Nassar family can be sent to: Beth Moore – FOTONNA Finance Director – 3436 East Ave S – La Crosse, WI 54601. Checks should be made out to FOTONNA. Thank you for your support.
FAQ About Donations:
People always ask, “Are donations to FOTONNA tax deductible?” The simple answer is, “No, but we are an all-volunteer charitable corporation.”
The longer answer is: After five years of back and forth (2007-2012), the IRS handed down their final decision of denial of our 501(c)(3) status request. They were simply unable to separate support for the Tent of Nations peace project from support of the entire Nassar family farm. The good news is that now your donations can support whatever project TON most needs funds for; it can support Summer Youth Camps and the Women’s Education Center, or general needs.
Funds raised from generous donations from Tent Of Nations friends have covered the following:
Various grants have helped with the following:
Tour expenses are now being covered completely by those who invite Daoud to speak at their events; Speaker Fees are provided by those venues that have the funds.
Summer Youth Camps
For two weeks each summer (usually in June/July), Tent of Nations sponsors Summer Youth Camps. International volunteers are needed to help with coordinating art, music, dance and drama workshops with around 80 children who attend the camp. There is also time for lots of soccer and other group games to be played. The children come from the surrounding area; many of them are from refugee camps and for two weeks of the year they experience what it is like to feel safe and experience the open air and open space of the farm. They learn about the animals on the farm, and they attend lessons about non-violence as a solution to the problems they face every day and are encouraged to talk about their own situations.
At the end of the camp, families are invited to attend a special event that showcases the art and music, dance and drama the children have been working on. It is a time of celebration and of coming together in shared harmony.
You can volunteer to work in these wonderful summer camps by contacting Daoud Nassar at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is as incredible an experience for the international volunteers as it is for the children. We invite you to join in on the fun!
As with all good things, there are expenses that need to be covered: art, music and drama supplies; transportation costs; and, meals and snacks and drinks. Donations can be sent through FOTONNA. All donations designated for this project go directly to Tent of Nations.
The slogan for the summer camps is: Out of nothing, together we can achieve something!
Women’s Education Center
The Women’s Education Center, or Bent Al-Reef Empowerment Project, seeks to help the village women realize their potential, hoping to open new opportunities for them, modify their role within the family and reformulate the individual’s perspective of self. Investing in women fundamentally strengthens family and society. This women’s empowerment program focuses on Education (English, Computer Skills, Accounting and Management), Health Education, Family, Children, Environmental Wellness, Personal Development, Agriculture and Organic Farming, Alternative Medicine, Women’s Nutrition, Feminism and Equal Rights, The Affect of Violence, Arts and Creativity. All of this is achieved through very simple workshops and lectures done by local women educators and with the help of international women volunteers. When one mother was asked why she needed to learn computer skills, she said it was so she could help her children with their homework.
These educational programs, workshops, lectures and activities are open to all women of all ages and of different educational levels and backgrounds. The number of village women who have benefited from this program has increased incrementally since 2007. The hope is to continue to increase the number of women who can participate in the classes being offered. In 2010, a wonderful new center was found for rent that will allow for this expansion.
Some of the arts workshops have resulted in the creation of products that the women can sell (stained glass items, purses and bags made from recycled plastic bags, etc.) and earn a bit of money to help support their families. Another project was a book of poetry that came out of a creative writing class in 2009. When international volunteers heard about this, they insisted on translating the poems into eight additional languages. This booklet is available in three of the languages (Arabic, English and Hebrew); you can receive a copy for a $10 donation to FOTONNA if you make a specific request for it. A recipe book of authentic Palestinian foods is coming out in early 2015. It seems that poetry and really good food can help people find common ground and have the power to transcend barriers to communication.
If you would like to be part of the growing number of teachers in the program, you can contact Jihan Nassar at email@example.com and volunteer to work at the center along with other international volunteers. Whatever skill or knowledge you can bring to the program is welcome. Once a year (usually in April), there is a week-long program that follows a specific theme and more volunteers than usual are needed in order to carry this out at this time of year.
These activities require a lot of funds, resources and effort; donations can be made to FOTONNA in support of this dream. We can change the world if we can help educate and empower the women. This particular project is doing just that.