Don't forget about the children of Gaza

Don’t forget about the children of Gaza

Dear Friend,
UNRWA teachers are working extensively to help students cope with their trauma. Activities like face painting help to boost the children’s morale. DONATE.
2012 has been a very difficult year for the children of Palestine. In Gaza, children continue to suffer greatly in the aftermath of the recent violence. They witnessed the deaths of family members and friends and watched helplessly as their homes and schools were destroyed. After the fighting ended, a large thunderstorm hit Gaza, and many children cowered with each strike of thunder, convinced that the vicious shelling had restarted.
Asma Obeid, one of UNRWA’s psycho-social counselors in Gaza, recently told us “during the conflict most families slept in one room. Now many children do not want to sleep in their own room anymore and bedwetting has increased. Stress and trauma make children want to sleep with the lights on.”
Since school has restarted, our primary focus has been to address the psychological needs of our 225,000 students. Raja Abdo, the psychosocial counselor at UNRWA’s Sheja’ea Co-ed Elementary, has been working with teachers, parents, and students each day to help them with the trauma they are facing. Sheja’ea Elementary was heavily damaged, and staff was forced to find an alternate entry route for students so they wouldn’t have to pass through unsafe debris or view part of a missile that had launched into one of their classrooms.
Raja explained that on the first day back to school she asked the children to express their feelings through drawings. Many of them depicted missiles and crying children. She explained, “when the children arrived to the school after the conflict and saw the damage, they were crying. For them the school is the second home.”
We want our students to once again feel like school is a second home. That’s why we’re working tirelessly to ensure that the psychosocial needs of these children, as well as adults are urgently being addressed, while also providing critically-needed food aid and medical support to those in need. We’re also quickly working to repair damaged homes before the cold, wet winter sets in.
But we can’t do all of this without your support.
As the harsh winter approaches, please consider making an end of the year tax-deductible donation to help the children of Gaza heal from the terrible trauma they have faced. Your donation of $25, $50, $100, $500, $1000 or more, will do so much. I hope we can count on you.
Thank you very much for your compassion and generosity.
Wishing you a safe holiday season,
Abby Smardon
Executive Director
American Friends of UNRWA
AFU’s Olive Tree initiative is back!
AFU’s Olive Tree Initiative offers you the opportunity to provide employment to struggling Palestinian refugee farmers through UNRWA’s Job Creation Program to rehabilitate farmland and olive groves attacked by Israeli settlers in the West Bank. As a way to say thank you for your generous contribution, an olive tree will be planted in your honor or in honor of a loved one. Click here to learn more.
Syria needs your help.
Palestinian refugees swept up by the violence in Syria desperately need our help. UNRWA is urgently providing emergency assistance to refugees in Syria and to those who have fled to Lebanon and Jordan, but we must do more. Please check out this video and consider making a tax-deductible donation to our Syria Emergency Appeal.
UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) provides humanitarian assistance and human development and protection programs including food aid, education, health care, and job training to registered Palestine refugees living in Gaza, the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. Today, in times of both conflict and calm, UNRWA supports, protects, and empowers more than 5 million Palestinian refugees in need. All donations to American Friends of UNRWA are tax-deductible.
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By piotrbein