LOCATION: Deir Samet Village, Hebron Governorate
On the outskirts of Hebron lies the highly underserved and conservative village of Deir Samet, where women and girls were not allowed to leave their homes without their husbands’, fathers’ or brothers’ consent. The men of the village permitted the women to establish the Deir Samet Women’s Society in the understanding that they would only meet and interact with other women. Led by a true community leader, Ms. Sarah Awawdeh, used the 2009 Community Leadership Empowerment Program award to furnish the Deir Samet Women’s Society with a computer lab. The men of the village quickly noticed the women learning valuable computer skills. This enabled Deir Samet Women’s Society to make the case that it was time for men to join the organization. During the Community Leadership Empowerment Program strategic planning process, as men joined both the board and the general assembly, the organization expanded its charter and renamed itself Al Nahda Society for Development – Al Nahda is Arabic for renaissance.