WAUK Newsletter 19/12/2016

Season's greetings and best wishes for a Happy New Year.

It has been another difficult year for Palestinian communities in Palestine and in the refugee camps and gatherings in Lebanon. Welfare Association has been responding to multiple emergencies throughout 2016. We would like to thank all of our supporters for their continued support throughout this year in donating to these appeals which have allowed us to respond to these emergencies quickly and effectively.

Our new Annual Review 2015-16 has been printed and sent out his week which provides a summary of our work and achievements. It is also available on our website. Click here to view.

1- Emergency Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Services Addressing the Needs of Children with Serious Injuries and Disabilities in Gaza

The overall goal of the project is to improve the health, mobility and well-being of children with disabilities (CWD) in Gaza.  Individual treatment plans have been designed for over 1,000 children. In the first six months the project team delivered 13,650 rehabilitation and nursing sessions.  These sessions included physiotherapy, occupational therapy and activities of daily living to improve the children’s health, mobility and co-ordination.  The nurses and physiotherapists also trained the children’s mothers to support their CWD (e.g. exercises routines, wound dressing).  The 189 children who were identified as suffering trauma from their injuries and / or the conflict in Gaza also received counselling and therapy with over 2,000 psychosocial support sessions.  A number of the CWD, as the project budget allows, will receive improved home conditions enabling easier access and movement (e.g. ramps, handrails).  In addition, to provide some relaxation and stress relief and also to encourage broader inclusion of CWD within their communities, the project teams have organised 11 open days,  attended by 1,427 CWD and members of their families and their friends.  These therapeutic / recreational open days gave these children an opportunity to relax, boost morale and increase interaction between all; they enjoyed entertainment including: songs performed by bands, singing and dancing, puppet shows and competitions.


2- Empower Marginalised Communities in South Lebanon

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This four year project funded by the Big Lottery Fund has just been completed. It has improved the lives of 10,274 families across three UNRWA Palestinian refugee camps, (El Buss, Rashidiyeh, and Burj el Shemali) and 2,970 families across nine informal gatherings near Tyre, (Shabriha, Wasta, Al Burghuliyeh, Itaniyeh, Kfar Badda, Jim Jim, Maashouk, Jal el Baher, and Qasmieh).  These are all areas where Palestinians are particularly marginalised, lack public services and suffer high poverty levels.  The project had four main health and livelihood components. The microloans component has improved the lives of many families. A total of 191 microloans were distributed to 197 people.  The large majority of the recipients reported steady monthly income increases in a range of small businesses including taxi services, local grocery & food stores, clothes shops, women’s accessory shops, coffee shops, photographers, carpenters, teachers, butchers, building contractors, painters, tilers, clothes traders and bakers.  The Community Training Unit has provided awareness sessions on important health and psychosocial issues, reaching 1301 Community Groups while more than 30,000 awareness raising leaflets and thousands of family health binders on a wide range of topics were distributed. Families were also made aware of local health services they can refer to. The Community Based Rehabilitation component of the project provided CBR training for 50 social workers, who were then able to provide regular home-based assistance to 134 CWD while also training their mothers in CBR techniques to keep improving their children’s mobility, independence and progress in daily life activities.  In the environmental health activities of this project, 6 of the 9 gatherings required support to improve the quality of their water, local water caretakers were trained to chlorinate the water and test the quality regularly, at the same time new chlorination equipment was provided. All six gatherings achieved drinkable water! Dozens of households were provided with composting bins which they shared with their neighbours to reduce the amount of refuse locally and also to use the compost they produced on their vegetable gardens. The project has been well-received locally and has made real improvements to these families lives.


3- Emergency Winterisation Assistance for Gaza 2016

Winterisation Gaza.pngSince 2008, the Gaza Strip has experienced three major escalations of armed conflict, which resulted in significant numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs). At the height of the most recent escalation in July-August 2014, where the Gaza Strip witnessed the deadliest escalation in hostilities since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1967, some 2,251 Palestinians, including 1,462 civilians, were killed and over 11,000 injured. Public infrastructure - including educational and health facilities and water and sanitation and energy installations - suffered heavy damage; nearly 500,000 people, 28 per cent of the population were displaced from their damaged / destroyed homes. Thousands of these displaced families are still living in a variety of overcrowded or inadequate shelter conditions, with almost a quarter struggling to manage in the rubble of their damaged homes.  This emergency project supports 190 families living in extremely difficult conditions across Gaza this winter (approx. 950 persons – including almost 600 children). This humanitarian aid project will provide food packs, winter blankets and warm winter clothes for children.