WAUK Newsletter 01/07/2016

Man receives fresh food parcels during Ramadan.


1. Gaza Appeal

As the holy month of Ramadan proceeds, thousands of Palestinians have been taking part in a daily fast of 17.5 hours for 30 days. In light of the current crisis with 60% of Gaza’s population food insecure, and 43% of the labour force unemployed, Welfare Association has been distributing weekly fresh food parcels in Al Tofah, Al Zaytoon, and West Gaza. These fresh food items are produced by small farmers struggling to produce and market their goods and then distributed to families badly affected by the 2014 conflict in Gaza. This project has a double-benefit this year, by supporting and protecting the livelihoods of small farmers through buying their produce it has helped ease the economic strain on marginalised families through the provision of these fresh food parcels.

In the first week of Ramadan the first fresh food items were packaged and each family received: 3Kg tomatoes, 3Kg potatoes, 3Kg onions, 3Kg cucumbers, 2Kg aubergines, 2 lettuce, 1Kg chillies, 36 eggs, 3Kg mulukhiyah, 2 packs of rocca, parsley & radish, and 5Kg of melons. A total of 5,022 persons will benefit from the weekly distributions in this project.

etaf.pngEtaf preparing dinner for her children
Etaf, is a Palestinian mother of seven children living Gaza. Before Ramadan, she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to provide food for her family after a full day of fasting. With her husband unemployed due to a spinal condition, it seemed like it would be an unbearable month. Etaf was extremely relieved and thankful for this project and said “Many days, I make my children sleep early because I don’t have food to feed them, but this Ramadan we are happy as food is coming to us, elhamdulillah!” Additionally the diversity of food items provided through the project meant that families were able to enjoy a variety of meals for the first time in months, Etaf added “This parcel is great, it includes food that we didn’t eat for several months such as eggs, melon, tomato and cucumber. I’m making delicious food and my children are loving it.” Through this project, Etaf’s family as well as hundreds of others are receiving fresh food parcels, enjoying a variety of foods during the holy month.

We hope to continue supporting vulnerable groups through the Fitrah project to ensure they are able to access services, and meet their daily needs. Please donate kindly to allow us to support more families in the upcoming months. Click here to donate.

2. Empowering marginalised communities in south Lebanon

pipes.pngInstallation of new pipes
With the ongoing Syria Crisis, Lebanon continues to face serious economic and social instability. Despite its size, Lebanon is hosting over 1 million Syrian refugees and 43,377 Palestinian refugees. In south Lebanon, we are working closely with our partner NGO’s in six gatherings: Shabriha, Burghuliyeh, Qasmieh, Maashouk, Itaniyeh and Wasta to ensure water being accessed from local wells by communities is clean and safe for consumption. Throughout the six gatherings, there was an ongoing problem of poorly maintained water that was unfit for drinking. However over the course of the four year project, we have trained and mentored water caretakers in each location to regulate the water chlorination, and with regular testing the quality has been improved and maintained.

 In a number of the gatherings we have also installed new equipment to better regulate the chlorination process, and in one of the gatherings we have replaced pipes that were worn out.

The project continues to have a wide reach and residents of these gatherings are benefitting from drinkable water.

 3. The Palestinian Museum

musicians.pngThe Palestinian Museum Opening Ceremony
Following many years of planning, Welfare Association recently opened the Palestinian Museum. It will be a transnational centre for research, discussion and exhibition of Palestinian history, art and culture. It aims to build a shared sense of identity that unites Palestinians from all over the world.

Through special educational programmes with local schools and local institutions the Museum will promote study and encourage discussion and hopes to provide an environment for innovative creative thinking, as well as opening up important historical archives to the public domain.

The museum is located in Birzeit and covers 3,500 square metres with one main exhibition hall, two educational rooms and a café. The building was designed by Dublin based architecture company Heneghan Peng and compliments the surrounding hills of Birzeit. The opening of the museum was on 18 May 2016, exactly 20 years after the initial idea for the museum was discussed. The first exhibition At the Seams: A Political History of Palestinian Embroidery is open until 30 July 2016 and includes collections of Widad Kawar and Malak al-Husseini Abdulrahim, and will take a critical look at the role of embroidery in shaping historic and modern Palestinian politics and culture. 

The Palestinian Museum featured in The Guardian - read more here