This week, we completed our seasonal Back to school project for the Palestinian community in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. We started to prepare and implement this project in August and September of each year. However, this year was very difficult for the Palestinians, in the Gaza Strip, especially.
This project acts as a relief project to support and bring a quick response to the urgent need of the Palestinian families in the besieged Gaza Strip. They have been suffering from poverty and destitution for more than 10 continuous years.
Unfortunately, the cities and villages of the West Bank have not been spared from the suffering. The vast Palestinian camps from the northern West Bank to the south still endure poverty. The circumstances worsened when the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) experienced an important financial crisis. People’s lives have been deeply affected since, and the needs are urgent in several important sectors, including health and education.
It is worth mentioning that there are more than half a million Palestinian refugee students most of whom are in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and a few in Jordan and Lebanon. The UN crisis immediately impacted the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, especially in the Palestinian refugee relief schools. Hence, the Back to School Project, which is considered significant has become more important and urgent in this present time.
Our school program, which includes the Back to School Project, focuses on 3 important groups of needy students and poor families:
This project is simple yet significant for the needy families. We prepare students with school bags, stationary as well as school uniform and shoes.
Some of our significant achievements this year include:
It is worth mentioning that the number of Palestinian students supported by UNRWA inside and outside Palestine exceeds 500,000 students split among 700 schools.
The number of Palestinian refugees registered with the United Nations are 6 million, most of whom are in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In this academic year, we have already reached approximately 4,000 needy Palestinian families, 1,000 of whom are in the West Bank and 3,000 in the Gaza Strip.
In the Gaza Strip for instance, we have helped 31 Schools spread from the north to the south of the territory. The schools we have reached, include:
In each school, we provided between 100-150 school bags and school supplies.
In conclusion, we have reached and contributed to relieve 4000 needy families living in very difficult situations. We have contributed to support education and help ensure our children have a brighter future.