Transforming lives, empowering communities since 1978

Children's Fund Quarterly Report - January-March 2015

Children's Fund Quarterly Report
The UPA Children's Fund touches the lives of hundreds of Palestinian children each quarter of the year. UPA partners with local non-profit organizations specializing in children's education and health. They are dedicated to fostering the potential among Palestine's most vulnerable communities, with a special focus on the impoverished, disabled and orphaned.

During the previous quarter, UPA awarded the following grants:

Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children (Gaza City, Gaza Strip)

Atfaluna, with support from UPA, provided playgroup and therapeutic activities for 50 at-risk deaf students aged 12 to 17 years old. The project aimed to build the students’ self-confidence and help them address any ongoing emotional difficulties they have. The activities included drama sessions, performances and recreational field trips.

A 16-year-old deaf girl named Islam participated in the project. Her mother died when Islam was five years old. During the 2014 war, she became frightened and worried and even attempted suicide. Atfaluna teachers said that after she joined the program “she gradually started to get better, as she was provided with the opportunity to discuss the stress she felt and minimize her fears and concerns.”

Community Rehabilitation Center for the Disabled
(Gaza Refugee Camp, Jerash, Jordan)

With a grant from the UPA Children’s Fund, the Community Rehabilitation Center screened for hearing and speech impairment among children in the camp, provided 150 children speech and physiotherapy treatments and raised community awareness about the rights of people with disabilities. The interventions helped improve the productivity, independence and academic achievement of the children in comparison with their peers at school.

Gaza Camp is home to approximately 24,000 Palestinian refugees who fled Gaza after the 1967 war. The camp struggles with poverty, overcrowding, unemployment and poor shelter quality.

Unite Lebanon Youth Project (ULYP) (Saida, Lebanon)

UPA continued its sponsorship of the Strengthening Amity in the Arts (SAWA) program, organized by ULYP. The SAWA program uses collaborative art and music programs to encourage creativity, critical thinking and self-confidence. The program offers these activities to 25 Palestinian refugees and 25 marginalized Lebanese children to break down the social barriers that exist in Lebanese society.

Two teachers from each participating school are also part of the project, to encourage the continuance of the lessons after SAWA ends. This quarter, the program focused on teaching the meaning of gender equality and human rights, as well as suggesting ways to peacefully pursue those goals and solve disagreements.

YWCA Preschool (Jalazone Refugee Camp, West Bank)

 

More than 100 children benefit from the work of the YWCA in Ramallah, which operates the Jalazone Refugee Camp Center. The center’s mission is to promote education and well-being among disadvantaged children in the refugee camp by creating a safe space for play that contributes to childhood development, including social skills.

Thanks to a UPA Children’s Fund grant, the YWCA was able to remodel the walls surrounding the outdoor play area, enhancing the outdoor experience that the Center offers. Teachers are able to use this outdoor space for activities that develop children’s speech abilities and behavior. Five-year old Hala Qasim writes, “I feel it’s my second home. I spend as much time as I want here without getting bored.”

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