WAUK Newsletter 22/06/2012

Services and Support for Children with Disabilities in Gaza

Disabilities-2.jpgFestival day for children, parents and friends
Welfare Association implemented this project in partnership with The Society of Physically Handicapped People, to support more than 400 children with severe disabilities living in very difficult conditions, in central and northern Gaza. Most were in a very difficult position due to the severe shortage of specialised medical, rehabilitation and psychosocial services.

This project focused on the involvement of parents in the delivery of services to their children. Parents were very keen to learn exactly how to do the exercises, and other project activities, with their children with the aim that these services could continue to be delivered to the children by their families once the project ends, allowing the physiotherapists and occupational therapists to move on to work with other children.

Disabilities-1.jpgPhysiotherapy exercises at home
The project helped to encourage and develop the confidence of the children’s parents, they knew exactly which exercise routines need to be done and when and also how to support their child’s educational needs to help their child at school. Through this project these children gained access to medical and rehabilitation services in their homes through specialist teams and were also provided with some basic medical and nutritional supplies to help defray costs of care for poor families. The project raised awareness of the rights and needs of disabled children and encouraged interaction between family members, bringing the children together with their friends and neighbours in some local community activities such as the festival day (photo below).

Improving Food Security and Living Conditions of Families in Vulnerable Communities in Gaza

The villages of the southern area of Gaza: Mughraqa village, Sheikh Ajleen and Zeitun, were hit hard during the Dec 2008-Jan 2009 bombardment of Gaza and are trying to use all available coping mechanisms to survive. This project improved food security and economic conditions for 84 poor families (470 individuals) in these three areas by improving access to essential agricultural assets and by providing training to ensure families followed best practices in establishing, cultivating, maintaining and managing their new Home Gardens.

The 84 home gardens included the installation of protective metal fencing, laying water irrigation networks and provision of 1000 litre capacity water tanks, planting fruit trees (including peach, apricot, citrus, apple, olives) and herbs (such as thyme and sage). The animals provided and distributed included rabbits, hens and roosters, and ewes with accompanying training and materials for raising and breeding.

This project allowed families to develop land they already owned and supplement their own nutritional needs, support their neighbours and also to sell excess quantities of products such as, herbs and eggs at the local market and generate a small additional income for their families. The project also facilitated opportunities for greater female participation in the Palestinian labour force and enabled these vulnerable families to become more self-reliant and self-sufficient. A number of the families have gone on to extend their range even further on their own, with additional vegetables and herbs!

Home-garden.jpgHome garden irrigation network and thriving crops

Welfare Association will be holding a Gala Dinner on Saturday 17th November 2012, in Bloomsbury, London.

Please ‘save the date’ in your diaries. This dinner is only held every three years in London and 2012 is not to be missed! More info to follow.

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