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We are joining the Big Ride to raise money for cycling and sports equipment for children in Gaza. Money raised will go to the Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA). The Big Ride is also be raising awareness of the siege of Gaza that has continued now for 10 years and the UK’s unethical arms trade with Israel.
Over the first 2 days we are riding from Manchester to Birmingham where we meet cyclist coming from other parts of the country. On the final day we will ride to Shenstone near Birmingham where the Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems manufactures engines for military drone aircraft used to attack Gaza.
Successive Israeli attacks on Gaza have traumatized children and
caused widespread psychological problems, with the UN estimating that up to 300,000 children in Gaza show signs of severe psychological distress. MECA is a non-profit organization working for the human rights of children in the Middle East including Palestine. It does vital work tackling the physical and psychological trauma suffered by children in Gaza. The funds raised by the Big Ride will support a new sports program in Gaza schools being organised by MECA as promotion of physical activity in young people improves mental as well as physical health. More information regarding the project is given below.
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MECA Project: Cycling & Sports For Palestinian Children
Successive Israeli attacks on Gaza have traumatized children
and caused psychological problems. Physical activity improves mental and physical health. The Big Ride is teaming up with MECA to raise funds for a new sports program in Gaza schools.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Successive Israeli military assaults have killed thousands
and left the entire population traumatized. The UN estimates 300,000 children in Gaza show signs of severe psychological distress including bed-wetting, nightmares, aggression, and difficulty eating, sleeping or speaking. Gaza is one of the most densely populated places in the world and there are few places for children to play, especially in the refugee camps. Social restrictions further impede girls' access to outdoor sports.
How will this project solve this problem?
MECA will use your donations to offer children in Gaza's refugee camps a chance to learn and practice different sports. Young women and
men will teach volleyball, football, running, cycling and more to 600 children at UN schools in the refugee camps. The school yards are among the safest places in Gaza and will bring activities to the children so they don't have to leave their neighbourhoods. We will also organize open sports days for families to involve the parents and siblings in the project.
Potential Long Term Impact
Studies show that physical activity reduces mental health problems. This project will contribute to psychosocial efforts to help children
in Gaza to heal and make them more resilient against the risks of severe
anxiety, depression, aggression and withdrawal. The project is particularly vital for girls who rarely have the chance to learn and practice sport. This is just the pilot phase and we plan to expand the project to more locations in the future.