Transforming lives, empowering communities since 1978

Children's Fund Quarterly Report - January-March 2016

Children's Fund Quarterly Report
The UPA Children's Fund (Nurturing the mind, body and soul) 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:

Star Mountain Rehabilitation Center (Ramallah, West Bank)

Children exercising at Star MountainPalestinians with disabilities are significantly marginalized from society. Located in Ramallah, SMRC helps physically and intellectually disabled children master daily life skills and become more independent. Centers like SMRC are devoted to building their children’s strength, if they have a physical disability, and helping them integrate into society. The center also conducts home visits to teach parents how to do rehabilitation exercises with their child.

With a grant from the UPA Children’s Program, SMRC’s Physiotherapy Program provided therapy sessions for impoverished children. Mohammad, nine years old, was one of 44 children benefiting from this support. Mohammad, who has cerebral palsy, has been unable to sit up on his own. The therapy sessions he received through SMRC have improved his mobility, allowing him to move on his own without falling down.

Gaza Winterization Project (Various Palestinian Organizations, Gaza Strip)

A girl tries on a coat in Gaza
A boy tries on a coat in Gaza

UPA’s Gaza Winterization Project reached over 300 families – over 1,500 individuals – in the northern, central and southern areas of the Gaza Strip. UPA partnered with four local Palestinian organizations: Palestine Youth Volunteer Center, Palestinian Wefaq Association, Fares Al Arab for Development & Charity Works and Bayader for Environment & Development Association.

Ashraf, from Jabalia camp, received coats for his seven children. Ashraf has been unemployed for seven years. “Our conditions are very difficult, especially during the cold winter,” he said.

The unstable Gaza economy takes a toll on all individuals, young and old alike. Nermin, who works as a blacksmith, is struggling to support her children. Her eldest daughter also works to help keep the family afloat. With the rate of unemployment among Gaza youth at 60%, young adults are finding it difficult to find jobs to support their families.

Adel exclaimed to the staff with a big sigh of relief, “Thank God…you came at the appropriate time for us.” Adel has been weary in his struggle to support his family and two children who are suffering from chronic diseases.

In addition to distributing clothing to families, Fares Al Arab conducted a campaign to promote awareness about diseases commonly transmitted during winter season, and helping parents to be able to address weak immune systems and malnutrition during winter.

The project aimed to take the financial burden off Gaza families who would otherwise not have been able to provide warm clothing for family members and children. Parents like Ashraf, Nermin and Adel are too often faced with difficult choices – food, medicine, or warm clothing? – often one at the expense of another.

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