Hello from Gaza…
It is raining and windy outside. The cold weather struck us suddenly. Fortunately, our MECA Gaza staff of three, including me, and many volunteers, were well-prepared to start the distribution of warm clothes for children. Thousands of tiny children are living in tin-roofed homes which leak during the winter. MECA volunteers are visiting families and covering the roofs with plastic sheets, like we do every year.
There is always a bright side of life, despite the hard humanitarian and political conditions in Palestine. We help each other so much and keep living despite all of the hardships under occupation and siege, and in very dire conditions.
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I was in one of the girls’ school last week, in a very rural and impoverished area. I met the school staff, children, and some parents for the opening ceremony of the installation of one of MECA’s many water purification units. I saw and sensed the excitement on the little faces, as well as the ugly poverty, and the torn shoes.
I spoke to few mothers and it was not easy to hear the stories of the daily struggle to feed the children with very poor-quality food. The mothers talked about the fear and anxiety among the children, especially when the drones are in the skies, bringing back the memories of fear and unsafe conditions during the Israeli military assaults against Gaza. One mother complained of the increasing domestic violence. The list of deprivation and trauma symptoms are too many to count.
On a personal level I was pleased to be inside this specific school in my hometown of Khan Younis because my mother was the first headteacher there from 1965 to 1985. The current headteacher mentioned my late mum in her talk and said that her own mother graduated from that school, too. To meet such appreciative community gives us the strength to continue our work for children.
I met with the child health team with their white vests and we discussed MECA’s work and the people and communities in the USA and around the world who help MECA to provide such wonderful work on the ground. I passed your solidarity and friendship message to everyone at the school. Please stand with us again now by making a donation to MECA.
Our work is inspired by the beautiful children and their families, as well as the whole Gaza population who struggle daily to survive.
Happy New Year
From Gaza with love,
MECA Gaza Director