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Field Staff Reports: Joyce Ajlouny – December 2012

Dear Friends,

Not too long ago, a graduate of Ramallah Friends School who had not visited us in sometime showed up at my office and shared the following. As he spoke I realized he was on behalf of all of graduates who now live around the globe, each meaningfully contributing to his and her community in more ways than one. He said,

“It has been fifty four years since I received my high school diploma from the Ramallah Friends School. Coming back is like returning home. I have spent the best years of my life within these spaces. My memories are so intense; I remember every corner, corridor, classroom and garden. I can see that the facilities have developed but I sense the same spirit around me. That same spirit that helped form me into the person I am today. Ramallah Friends School was instrumental in building my character; it taught me the importance of being a giving and caring human being. How I wish my children would have had that same opportunity of being educated here.”

Ramallah Friends School today serves over 1300 students (17% of which receive some form of financial aid). Nearly all of them will end up in college after graduation. This success is achieved despite great odds, including a constant military occupation which creates an environment of fear. This occupation causes our students to live with no rights, no freedoms and no hope for a better future. Ramallah Friends School aims to change that for students. Providing them with an outstanding education, a voice to share their thoughts and dreams and a confirmation of their worthiness as individuals as well as a people restores their sense of dignity and pride. As a result our students, like our graduate quoted above, become exceptionally motivated to excel but more importantly to work on making the world a better place.

My job is to work with over 135 equally dedicated staff members and teachers ensuring this nearly century-and-a-half old legacy continues to serve a community in most need of it. With tuition fees being kept to minimum, the school is not able to spend any of its funds on the expenses of the Director position. FUM and I have to work hard to find ways to replenish my account and make possible those monthly transfers into my bank account.

Thank you for thinking of the Ramallah Friends School this holiday season. Whether it is a gift of prayer or of funds, your heartfelt support is making a huge difference and is truly cherished.

Blessings to you all,

Joyce Ajlouny
RFS Director
RFS Class of 1983