Transforming lives, empowering communities since 1978

Children's Fund Quarterly Report - October to December 2013

Children's Fund Quarterly Report

The UPA Children's Fund enables children in Palestine’s most vulnerable communities to realize their potential. The Fund supports the education, health and nutrition and recreation projects in the West Bank & Gaza Strip by linking with partners who serve orphaned, disabled and/or impoverished children.

Every day your gifts make a difference in the lives of these children.

During the final quarter of 2013, UPA awarded the following grants.

Am'ari Play Center

Am'ari Refugee Camp, Ramallah District, West Bank

Forty economically marginalized preschool children in Am'ari refugee camp at-risk for under-nutrition, received comprehensive health support this past quarter. Every day the play center provided a healthy mid-morning snack which included milk and then a high protein, hot lunch with fresh vegetables and fruit.   In cooperation with UNRWA, each child was tested for anemia and other nutritional deficiencies.  Interactive lessons on basic nutrition and healthy eating habits were also taught.

Ahmed enjoys a meal at Am'ari Play Center where quality early childhood education has been offered to residents of the camp since 1974.

Strengthening Amity with the Arts (SAWA)

Unite Lebanon Youth Project (ULYP), Saida, Lebanon

This past quarter, UPA sponsored 25 Palestinian refugee youth to participate in ULYP's SAWA program.  SAWA uses creative and performing arts as a means to explore self-identity and dialogue between Palestinian refugee and marginalized Lebanese children.  Both groups have limited access to extra-curricular activities, particularly the arts, which are often neglected by schools due to lack of funding.  Critical thinking and peace-building skills were developed within an atmosphere of teamwork and respect.  The children, aged 12-15 years, left empowered to be positive agents of change.  To ensure carry-over, two of the children's classroom teachers were offered training to implement similar projects in their home schools.

On average, 1,000 youth between the ages of 5-15 years benefit annually from ULYP's creative programs which promote artistic collaboration, respect and teamwork.

Palestine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY)

Shawka Library, Rafah, Gaza Strip

The Shawka Library is breathing new life into an isolated and impoverished corner of the Gaza Strip through the 180 children who recently participated in its new programs.  The prolonged siege on the Gaza Strip has been devastating to children's education and development, while the Shawka area of Rafah is particularly exposed to such hardships as house demolitions, land mines and electricity shortages. It is within this context that the library has become a positive centerpiece of daily life. A safe place where children can grow and begin to rid themselves of their fear and feelings of helplessness. A culture of reading has been cultivated: parents and children alike borrow books; children write and illustrate their own stories; and an adjacent vacant lot has been turned into a playground to play games related to reading.

PBBY has established libraries in Rafah and Beit Hanoun, breathing new life into isolated communities.

YWCA Preschool

Jalazone Refugee Camp, Ramallah District, West Bank

Early childhood education programs are crucial to the development of a child.  The YWCA operates a comprehensive preschool program in the Jalazone Refugee Camp which benefits 80 children and their families.  Its cornerstone "Learning though Play" program features imagination, art, nature and language/spatial learning centers.  Renovation to their facility was made possible through a UPA grant.  As a result, the building was made warmer prior to the bitter cold winter weather that recently hit the region.  Also, classroom technology was updated to enhance the learning process.

The YWCA continuously updates its teaching methods to offer the most developmentally appropriate education, regardless of economic background.

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