Winter has come to Gaza and, more than a year after the terrible Israeli assault of 2014, thousands of families are still living in houses with holes in the walls and roofs, or in flimsy trailers. People are without heat or electricity for many hours a day. Rain comes in and causes flooding. Sometimes, the trailers literally sink into the ground.
The ongoing Israeli siege prevents building materials, heating fuel, and many other basic necessities from reaching Gaza. People can’t leave to get medical care or see family members.
My job at MECA takes me to communities all over the Gaza Strip—to check on water systems in schools, observe our psycho-social support program, and distribute basic necessities.
I see the destruction all around, the suffering in people’s eyes, and their hopelessness about the future. The feelings of pain, loss, and sorrow are still there in the depth of our hearts.
I also see the many ways MECA supporters like you are making life better for children growing up in very harsh conditions. During this cold season, MECA is providing warm baby clothes and plastic sheets for rain and wind protection.
With the rain, comes the sound of thunder. It terrifies children who remember the sound of bombs. They immediately start hiding, screaming and crying out in terror.
The MECA project that touches my heart the most is “Let the Children Play & Heal.” Psychologists, social workers and trained volunteers visit thousands of children throughout Gaza—giving them the chance to paint, write stories, dance, play and get help for the trauma they faced during the brutal attack on Gaza.
“Let the Children Play & Heal” began in 2009, just after another terrible Israeli assault. The goal in is to “bring the smile back to every child’s lips. “
With your help, we can help the children in Gaza this winter with their most basic needs. And make them smile again.
With many thanks from Gaza, Palestine