WAUK Newsletter: 13/03/2020

Emergency Winter Assistance for Families in Gaza 2019/20

 The timing of the project helped us to get better offers than expected from clothing suppliers, as the main winter shopping period was over and suppliers were keen to sell. The tender for the project was advertised and the best offer providing high quality clothing was selected. It enabled the inclusion of an additional 615 children! Almost doubling the project beneficiaries, with a total of 1237 children included in the project and supported through winter.

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Each child was able to choose a package of clothing which included a warm winter jacket, jeans, two jumpers, pyjamas, underwear and socks, together with a hat, scarf and gloves. The contractor hired a venue space and set up tables with a wide variety of clothing displayed in multiple sizes – so the children and their families could try clothes on and select the style, fabric and colours of their choice. Our WA project team commented that it was great to see so many smiling families!

 

UPDATE: Restoring the Livelihoods of Farmers in Gaza 

In 2019 Welfare Association began implementing two new projects with struggling farmers in Gaza, to rehabilitate their land, plant it and harvest the new crops. With the ongoing blockade of Gaza and severe restrictions on the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza, together with the military attacks on Gaza in recent years, which have destroyed huge swathes of farming land, farmers have been hit hard. 

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The WA Gaza team arranged for local experts to advise the farmers on the best crops based on types of soil, water availability and gaps in the market – to maximise quantity and quality of the crop yield and also so the crops could be sold locally and at a reasonable price. These projects will be completed in 2020 and will restore the farmers’ livelihoods, sustainably generating an income for their families and enabling them to replant in the future seasons. 

The first project began in July 2019 and is working with 200 farmers (including 68 female famers), and employing 192 unemployed workers, who will help the farmers to clear their land, plough the fields, install irrigation networks and plant the seedlings. In the first seven months of the project all 538 farmers who applied to be included in the project were interviewed and the 200 most vulnerable were prioritised. Already 100 of the 200 dunums (1 dunum = 1000 square meters) to be rehabilitated and planted were cleared and ploughed, with 50 dunums planted. The second project is working with 72 farmers and rehabilitating 144 dunums of land. In the first four months of this project, the 204 farmers who applied to be included were interviewed and the 72 most vulnerable were prioritised. Already 40 of the 144 dunums of land had been cleared and planted. Both projects have made great progress, with a few weeks pause during the worst weeks of heavy winter storms, both have now resumed and are on track. 

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Both of these projects will link into our upcoming Ramadan food distributions project in Gaza. Planting has been timed so that when the farmers harvest their crops, WA will buy and package the fresh vegetables, fruit and herbs together with chicken and eggs and they will be distributed to some of the most marginalised families in Gaza.

 

 

 WA Gala Dinner 2019:

WA’s fundraising Gala Dinner for the Children of Palestine, was held in the House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, London, on Friday 8th November 2019. The evening began with a reception in the Strangers Dining Room, with dinner in the Members Dining Room. Baroness Tonge gave a warm welcome and Welfare Association Chairman’ Mr. Martin Linton (pictured),

gala picture 4.pngprovided a key note speech on the role of WA and outlined the evening’s events which included: an Auction where guests could pledge donations to WA’s children’s programmes, or bid to win some incredible donated works of art and a fabulous luxury holiday in Jordan; and a Grand Prize Draw, with some fabulous donated prizes, including a luxury holiday in Aqaba and a trip to Paris. 

 Our guests enjoyed a dazzling performance from Palestine’s very own Frank Sinatra’ Omar Kamal (pictured), who stole the evening with a number of songs, ending with the very captivating Mawtini (my homeland). Our former Chair’ Clare Short ended the evening on a high, announcing the Grand Prize Draw’ winners and with some important closing words on the WA’s vital work.  

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We send huge thanks and appreciation to our wonderful sponsors who made the event possible, to Omar Kamal for a stunning set, to all of our supporters who donated such magnificent prizes, and to all of our guests who joined us on the evening and generously supported WA’s work. It was truly an evening to remember!