We spoke with Alaa’ Halayka, founder and general manager at Raseel Association, to check in on the outcome of their crowdfunding campaign – here’s that story.  

Raseel Association is a Ramallah-based non-profit which provides therapy programs for children with autism and autism-related learning difficulties. Raseel is the first association in Palestine solely dedicated to children with autism. Learn more about the organization here

The campaign

Raseel ran the campaign late spring of this year, after months of tight Covid-19 lockdowns imposed in Palestine earlier in March. The first three months of lockdown affected all Palestinians and organizations alike. “Children with autism had an additional challenge,” Alaa said- the fact that spending months away from therapy could score out progress that many children have spent years accomplishing. The campaign hoped to provide tuition relief to many of these children’s families. 

Two weeks into the campaign, Raseel Association was able to achieve close to 80% of their $7,000 goal. The campaign ended on June 1st with $6,814 collected from 181 individual donors.

The right place at the right time…

Alaa’ reiterated this phrase multiple times on our call. He confirmed that people had a “thirst” to help out and donate. The campaign helped secure therapy costs to 15 children up to January 2021. When he informed families that they would need to now pay 150 Shekels (around 45 USD), as opposed to the 600 (around 185 USD) original cost, he saw literal tears in their eyes. 

$7,000 may not be a lot of money. In this case however, it helped keep 15 families on their feet for numerous months. This was an important lesson for Raseel, and one that other organizations should adopt- to focus on what we can do with smaller amounts of money, and prioritize the needs of our beneficiaries.

The campaign’s success gave the Raseel team and management to continue doing the work they do.

It does not stop here

Alaa and Raseel won’t stop here. They plan to establish a portable sensory clinic to provide services to children in Ramallah’s nearby villages. Alaa’ commented that transportation costs can be a hurdle for many parents, so he’s tackling the challenge at the core.  

“Children with autism deserve the rights and attention granted to other children. They’re no different.” Raseel will continue to work towards accelerating equality and access to therapy for children with autism and autism related difficulties. We never cease to be inspired.

If you can and would like to support Raseel, you can do so through this link.