Update from Gaza: Research shows children pay a huge toll
Recently-released research on child welfare in Gaza by the Norwegian Refugee Council makes for sobering reading. Researchers studied the welfare of children since the right-of-return demonstrations at the border began in the spring of 2018.
The report finds that “68 percent of schoolchildren in areas close to the Israeli perimeter fence have clear indications of psychosocial distress. The majority said they were most severely affected by the sounds of nearby explosions and media images of conflict in Gaza.”
Other findings show “children have also reported witnessing the violence first hand, as well as knowing people who have been injured, killed or lost their homes. A worrying 54 percent said they had no hope for a brighter future. The study also revealed that a staggering 81 percent of children struggle academically due to conflict-related stress.”
Ahli Arab Hospital is there for the children of Gaza
Despite cuts in funding, Ahli Hospital continues, though its community clinic, to offer psycho-social therapy to children affected by trauma. Currently the clinic is open just one day a week. AFEDJ is seeking foundation grant funding from several sources that will allow the clinic to open for a second day, thereby doubling the number of patients seen.
In 2018 more than 650 individual AFEDJ donors contributed to keeping the doors of Ahli Hospital open. Never underestimate the power of many gifts gathered together to make a difference. For hundreds of children in Gaza and their families, it already has.
We welcome your help to continue to expand this important work.