WAUK Newsletter: 23/07/21

Dear Supporter,

Welcome to our July 2021 Newsletter, keeping you updated on our vital work.

We would like to begin this newsletter by thanking you for generously donating to our Emergency Appeals for East Jerusalem and then Gaza, following assaults by Israeli forces in May 2021. Your donations helped us to provide urgent support and supplies to those who needed it most. 

1.Emergency Support for First Aid Emergency Responders, Makassed Hospital and Families Affected in East Jerusalem
 

More than 150 Palestinians were wounded following attacks by Israeli police and military forces in and around Al Aqsa Mosque on Friday 7th May, and hundreds more in the following days. WA is implementing four emergency projects in East Jerusalem providing medical supplies (pharmaceuticals, disposables and equipment), and repairs and fuel for ambulances for frontline responders. 

These projects will also deliver vital medical supplies to Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem, this hospital always receives large numbers of injured people during any emergency. It will replenish exhausted stock so they are able to continue their emergency services and surgeries for those injured. Our projects will also provide food vouchers to impoverished families most badly affected by the recent conditions. Since these projects started we have:

  • helped over 49,000 people directly, including 12,500 children under 18 years of age
  • provided medical supplies to frontline responders and to Makassed Hospital
  • distributed food vouchers to 900 marginalised families 

 
2. Gaza Emergency Appeal


Between 10-21 May 2021 Israeli military forces launched an assault on Gaza, which resulted in:

  • 253 Palestinians deaths, including 66 children and 39 women
  • Almost 2,000 Palestinians were injured during the hostilities, including over 600 children and 400 women
  • Hundreds of families lost family members, their homes, work and their source of income
  • Roads, water and sewage infrastructure were bombed, and 800,000 people do not have access to safe piped water – almost half the population of Gaza
  • 19 health care centres were damaged, including 6 hospitals and 11 primary health care centres, and Hala Al-Shawa Primary health care clinic was completely destroyed

Gaza’s already overwhelmed health system was struggling to meet the needs of those injured during the bombardment.  WA launched an Emergency Appeal to help provide emergency medical aid to hospitals in Gaza, and support those most badly affected.
 
We have three new projects in Gaza responding to emergency needs.
 
We are working to support families in Gaza and will:

  1. Increase the preparedness of eight NGO hospitals and health centres to provide health services to injured and sick people in Gaza, by restocking their depleted medical supplies
  2. Enable safe access to school education for students in targeted localities, by providing repairs to two school buildings damaged by the Israeli military bombardment of Gaza – so they are safe for children to return at the start of the new academic year
  3. Fund nine small businesses damaged in the Israeli bombardment to get them up and running again and their employees back to work

 
In addition, WA has been distributing humanitarian supplies to over 200 internally displaced families to help them cope with their current living conditions. These include: food packs, family hygiene kits and sets of clothing for women and children in these 200 families.
 

To donate further, please click here

*Just before the bombardment started we had completed our Gaza Ramadan fresh food distribution projects delivering chicken, eggs, fruit and vegetables packs each week to more than 1300 of the most impoverished families in Gaza for the five weeks of Ramadan. Many families reported back to our WA Gaza office that these food packs kept them going throughout the bombing.


3. Music Therapy for Traumatised Children in the Palestinian Camps of South Lebanon

Almost a year after the Beirut Port explosion that compounded the financial, political and COVID-19 crises, conditions in Lebanon have worsened. The Palestinian refugees in Lebanon (PRL) and Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) now living in Lebanon, are extremely vulnerable with two thirds living in poverty.

The living conditions are taking a toll on the mental health of the population, but in particular on children and young people living in the refugee camps in Lebanon. In studies taken in 2013, 94% of PRS families had lived through some type of personal traumatic experience, such as a death in the family, physical trauma, kidnapping or home destruction.[1]

Children living in the refugee camps face many challenges, including: marginalisation, the ongoing financial crisis, poor living conditions, limited educational and health services and very few social activities. This is a stressful environment, with children and young people often resorting to harmful coping mechanisms, including substance abuse.

Welfare Association has been providing psychosocial support through community-based music activities. This project providing music therapy for traumatized children in Bourj El Shemali Camp in Tyre, South Lebanon, had a number of individual and group activities including playing instruments, singing and community cultural events, etc.

Almost 150 music sessions were provided for 80 children from November 2020 to May 2021. The sessions were three times a week, and the demand was so high that the number of classes was increased.

These classes encouraged the children to enjoy music, learn an instrument of their choice and develop their musical capabilities. This helped them to grow in their confidence and sense of identity, with the classes focusing on Palestinian/Arabic music.

The project provided classes on a wide variety of instruments, including violin, drums, Oud, guitar, piano, flute, cello, saxophone and clarinet. A number of instruments were purchased through this project so the classes can continue. 32 children also received professional training in choir singing, in which they sang Palestinian cultural heritage songs and music. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and the children involved in the programme said it gave them a sense of security and community.
 
 

[1] ‘Palestinian Refugees from Syria in Lebanon: A Needs Assessment’, American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), March 2013; http://www.anera.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/PalRefugeesfromSyria2.pdf