Diyar Consortium-Bethlehem

Diyar Girls’ Soccer Program, Bethlehem, Peace-Building Program Report 2017

Diyar Women's team Presidential Cup Win

Diyar Women’s team Presidential Cup Win

Pilgrims of Ibillin annual program grant — $4,000 in 2017 — supports the girls’ soccer program by paying fees for trainers who work with the program’s coaches every summer. Such support contributes to the core of Diyar’s mission of empowering Palestinian young women leadership.

The majority of trainers are the older members of the Diyar Women Soccer Team whom we also supported back when the women’s team was created. As such, these funds allow Diyar to create economic opportunities, aside from the much needed space and forum, for these women to excel and engage in what they love to do the most, which is to play sports.

Not only this, but having the program grant help from Pilgrims in 2016 allowed us to really concentrate on other fields of sports for girls and women. As such, we see a growth in volleyball as now new teams started in that direction and a dramatic growth in Karate/self-defense as well with many young girls enrolling.

Niveen, star player on women’s team and coach for the girls’ soccer program

Pilgrims’ support in 2017 will truly make a difference for the women trainers in soccer. These women, who are both Christians and Muslims, actually come from different localities within Bethlehem: some come from the actual city of Bethlehem and nearby Beit Jala, but almost half come from the villages surrounding Bethlehem. That in itself is remarkable because the women from the rural areas (with some being head veiled) are defying the traditional roles and images of Palestinian women. Being a trainer in the sports school is very important to these young women because this is their only economic opportunity. Having a monthly salary helps them as employment is extremely low in the Palestinian society among women and youth (actually the highest unemployment rates are among women and youth).


Diyar sports hall

Exciting things continue to happen for 2017. First will be the Diyar Sports Week in summer, which gathers teams and athletes nation-wide for a week of participating in different events, tournaments, and workshops. The second exciting news is that Diyar soccer team has signed a partnership agreement with MMBF Walton FC from Liverpool, England. The Agreement will be implemented by having Diyar team tour in England.

Diyar women, “Discover Football,” with Angela Merkel in Germany 2016


If you’d like your gift to Pilgrims of Ibillin to support the Diyar Girls’ Sports Program, please write “Diyar” in the designation area of your check or credit card donation.  Thank you!
(To donate, click here )

~Thanks to Rana Khoury, Diyar, for the content of this report.

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