Firefly provides ongoing support for young Palestinians through local partners and regional projects.


Photo by Emily Keen

Support for Youth in Nablus, West Bank

Firefly supports young Palestinians by supporting the Nablus-based charity Project Hope, which also works in the refugee camps and villages of the Nablus governorate (pop. 389,328), where it teaches English and delivers other essential education, arts and sports programmes. Project Hope does this by bringing volunteer instructors from around the world to work with Palestinian instructors teaching and learning with Palestinian children. It is the largest volunteer organisation of its kind in the West Bank, welcoming every year nearly 100 people (often more) from dozens of different countries. It further works together with local partners (schools, community centres, universities) to expand its reach to as many young people as possible. In 10 years it has helped improve the lives of thousands of young Palestinians. Click here for more information.

Nablus (2016 pop. 153,061) is an economic and cultural centre, and the largest Palestinian city in the northern West Bank. It has often been a focal point for violence with Israel, especially in its large refugee camps: Al Ayn (pop. 4,829) Old and New Askar (pop. 14,085) and Balata (18,502). Conditions were particularly harsh during a siege that cut off movement into, and even within, the city from 2002-2009. That was a period of frequent armed clashes between Israelis and Palestinians that altogether has left devasting scars on the social fabric of the community, and the children who have grown up in it. Most of those children have personally seen horrible acts of violence, and all to often been victims of it themselves.

Our partnership with Project Hope is Firefly’s second longest ongoing partnership. It was first established in 2007 by Firefly’s late founder and Director, Ellie Maxwell, and our current Director Jeremy Wildeman, who was then the cofounder and Director of Project Hope.

Firefly’s critical support to Project Hope includes core funding, online media management, fundraising, project development and project reporting. We get this done through our network of supporters and leadership by the Firefly Palestine Committe.



Ayesha Carmouche

Ayesha volunteered with Project Hope in 2012. She works for the CORE Coalition. Previously she led the advocacy and communications work for ActionAid in Palestine, where she was based in Hebron and worked on issues of corporate investment in the occupied territory. Prior to this, Ayesha was the Policy and...

Abdulhakim Sabbah

Hakim has served as the Director of Project Hope since May 2005. He has been instrumental in the growth of Project Hope in terms of program expansion, notably developing Project Hope’s French language offerings and cultivating relationships with the French speaking community, both locally and abroad. He holds a Bachelor’s...


David J. (Sandy) Marshall

Sandy is a Research Fellow at the University of Arizona School of Geography and Development. A human geographer, Middle East specialist, and published academic, his research with Palestinian refugee children examines issues of trauma, memory, and urban environmental psychology. Sandy was a volunteer for Project Hope in 2005, 2006, and...

Ben Boulton

Ben completed his PhD thesis in the field of post-conflict peacebuilding at the University of Exeter. He volunteered with our Palestinian Project Hope in 2013, where he assisted with various aspects of report-writing (drafting, writing and editing). He currently has various editing commitments (a forthcoming book, various academic journal articles...

Gertjan Hoetjes

Gertjan Hoetjes

Gertjan is a MPhil/PhD student at the University of Exeter, examining the impact of Internet technology on the Arab Gulf monarchies focusing on Kuwait and Oman. Gertjan acquired his M.Sc. in Political Science at the University of Amsterdam (2009) and his MA in Gulf Studies (2011) at the University of...

Siama Ahmed

Siama joined Firefly International in 2016. She has an academic background in Media and Communications, having studied her BA and Post Grad in London, and has spent more than a decade working on a variety of projects in the UK and the Middle East. Having lived and worked in refugee...


Matteo Mazzoleni

Matteo holds an M.A. in International Politics from University of Surrey. He has joined Firefly International as a Comittee Member in 2016 after conducting research on migrants and refugees in Tunisia for the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. He was previously working in the IT sector in Exeter, UK, where he was...