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Raised: 109%

Target: £59,928.00
Raised so far: £65,612.00

Fully funded

Great news - this project has reached its funding target. Thank you to everyone who donated. Search for another cause to support

Project run by

Middle East Children's Alliance, Berkeley, United States

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Emergency Aid for Children in Gaza

Children in Gaza are living under a devastating blockade. They lack basic essentials such as water, housing, hospitals and safe places to play and learn. MECA and The Big Ride are teaming up to raise funds for Gaza to help meet children's basic needs.

What is the problem the project is addressing?

Children in Gaza live with the constant threat of Israeli military assault and the ongoing blockade of basic necessities and medical care. There is widespread poverty and a closed environment where people and goods cannot travel freely. The UN estimates that 400,000 children in Gaza are showing signs of severe psychological distress including bed-wetting, nightmares, aggression, phobias, extreme withdrawal or anxiety and difficulty eating, sleeping or speaking.

How will this project solve the problem?

The situation for children in Gaza is an emergency. MECA will use your donations to provide emergency aid to families in Gaza and deliver medicine and medical supplies to hospitals. MECA will support community-based organisations that run creative writing programs, sports teams, art and music classes; to build playgrounds and much more. Meanwhile, The Big Ride is working to raise awareness in the UK about the situation for children in Gaza.

What is the potential long-term impact of this project?

This project will reduce the children's risk of disease and malnutrition by addressing basic needs for food, medical care and adequate shelter that could impact their development and long-term health. By involving children in creative community activities, the project will also protect children's long-term mental health, making them more resilient against the risks of severe anxiety, depression, aggression and withdrawal.

Apr 14 2015

1,690 warm outfits for infants in Gaza

Josie Shields-Stromsness

As you know, the winter was very harsh for families in Gaza after Israeli attacks last summer damaged thousands of homes. As temperatures dropped and rain and snow fell, people huddled together around fires outside or in their damaged homes.  
You and hundreds of other new and long-time MECA supporters responded to this crisis—and helped prevent it from turning into another catastrophe.
Throughout January and February, with your help, MECA was able to send funds to our partners in Gaza and in refugee camps in Lebanon. 
Volunteers gathered at Dr. Mona El-Farra’s apartment in Gaza city to create parcels out of hundreds of children’s sweaters and long underwear, more than one thousand wool socks and infant outfits, plus cooking oil, beans, cheese and many more items. Volunteers and community groups distributed the parcels to refugee camps, villages and city neighborhoods throughout the Gaza Strip. Along with the food and warm clothes, they brought plastic sheets to cover leaky roofs and holes in walls from last summer’s assault.
Spring has finally arrived, bringing great relief. Thank you for providing a lifeline to so many men, women and children who are struggling every day just to survive.
With much appreciation,

Josie Shields-Stromsness
MECA Program Director
Bethlehem, Palestine

Dec 15 2014

400 Families Receive Locally-produced Food Package

Dr. Mona El-Farra

400 Palestinian families in Gaza are receiving food packages made up of agricultural products produced in Gaza, thanks to the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) and Gaza’s Ark international solidarity network.

Israel’s 51 days of attacks on Gaza this past summer killed more than 2000 people, destroyed thousands of homes and apartments, damaged 75 hospitals and clinics, and caused millions of dollars of damage to farmland and civilian infrastructure. Currently more than 100,000 people in Gaza are displaced and an alarming 72% of households are considered food insecure by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Your support provided the transportation, communication, and storage rental that made this distribution possible.

Solidarity not charity

This food distribution includes locally produced food products thereby directly benefitting both the local economy and families in need. Unlike goods which are brought from outside Gaza, this distribution is not subject to permits or authorizations from the Israeli occupation, nor on the ‘charity’ of aid organizations.

MECA is distributing the food packages to 400 families throughout Gaza who are food insecure. The distribution mobilizes and empowers grassroots organizations and local volunteers in Gaza to help their communities. MECA partner organizations in Jabalia, Khan Younis, Nuseirat, and Gaza City are assisting in identifying families who are in need and have been overlooked by larger aid efforts.

“This is an innovative and positive example of how people around the world can work in partnership to support Gaza,” says Dr. Mona El-Farra, a physician, activist, and Gaza Project Director for the Middle East Children’s Alliance. “Through this small aid effort, we are helping the local producers as well as needy families in Gaza. These families have been impoverished by decades of occupation and years of a tight blockade; many were also hit savagely by the latest Israeli offensive.”

This humanitarian relief helps support Palestinian farmers and agricultural cooperatives throughout the Gaza Strip who have been paid $14,000 for their maftoul (couscous), date products like awja, debes and makhtom, spice mixes of dugga and za’atar which are used in traditional Palestinian breakfasts, as well as honey and olive oil.

“The Gaza’s Ark project has helped Palestinian women’s co-operatives and eight local associations by making solidarity sales and promoting their products outside of Gaza's borders,” said Awni Farhat, products and endorsements coordinator for Gaza’s Ark. 

Salma Abu Mostafa from Abbassan Women’s Cooperative for Medicinal Herbs, one of the producers of the food products, added: “This project helped 67 women who work on their farms in the village of Abbassan to earn a bit of income and empower themselves in the community.”

Gaza’s Ark supporters from Europe, Canada, US and Australia paid for the food as part of an international solidarity campaign aimed at challenging the illegal blockade of Gaza. Individuals and organizations placed orders from Palestinian producers in Gaza and a fishing boat was being rebuilt in the port of Gaza to carry these exports to international markets. The boat was struck by Israeli shelling in July 2014 and destroyed along with thousands of Palestinian homes and other civilian structures. This attack put an end to the plans to sail against the blockade this year, but the international buyers agreed to donate the foodstuffs, originally purchased for export via Gaza’s Ark, to humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza.

Aug 11 2014

Medicine and hygiene kits distributed in Gaza

Dr. Mona El-Farra

Thank you for your support! Here is an updated write-up of how your donations are being used to provide emergency aid to children and families in Gaza.


After four weeks of intensive bombing in Gaza, approximately half a million Palestinians are now displaced in Gaza. Most of these families left their homes in a panic with just the clothes on their backs. The majority of the displaced are taking shelter in UN and government schools under the care of UNRWA. However UNRWA’s resources have been depleted and they have requested assistance from MECA and other organizations in Gaza to meet the growing needs of families in schools and to prevent the spread of disease.

The near total lack of electricity, running water, and wastewater treatment pose a huge threat to the health of children and families in Gaza. The families in school shelters are receiving drinking water but are often unable to shower or wash and soap bars which some organizations gave distributed do not lather in the highly saline water that comes out of Gaza taps (when they are running at all). Our partner centers that run hospitals and clinics have reported increasing numbers of cases with skin infections, diarrhea, and lice while women are coming in with yeast infections.

MECA Response

MECA is providing grants to our long-term partners, the Red Crescent Society for the Gaza Strip (RCS) and the Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) to buy medications to treat the sick and injured free of charge. Both run clinics and medical centers throughout Gaza and Al-Awda Hospital, run by the UHWC, is the main hospital for child births in Gaza during this crisis. RCS and UHWC send MECA the list of their needs and then use the grants to purchase medications locally in Gaza. The medications include antibiotics, rehydration bags, pain medications, topical creams, vitamins for pregnant women and children, as well as items to treat chronic diseases as many patients had to leave their medications behind as they fled. Despite the blockade on Gaza, they have been able to secure the medications they need from local pharmacies. Some pharmacies have a West Bank branch that manufactures medications and sends them to Gaza while others actually have factories operating in Gaza. In case of any shortages faced by our partners, MECA has made contacts to be able to get medications and medical supplies to Gaza within 24 hours.

At the same time, MECA’s staff in Gaza are purchasing supplies locally to distribute to families. In the beginning of the attacks, the greatest need was food and milk for children so our team distributed 400 food packages. As the attacks continued and more families were displaced, we adjusted to include some hygienic items along with children’s milk and food and distributed 678 packages to families. Now our team is focusing on hygiene kits which include: pack of diapers, pack of feminine pads, toothbrushes, family-sized toothepaste, four small towels, family-sized shampoo, extra large bath foam, hand wash, 2 packs of wet wipes, and bath sponge. We are coordinating with our organizations in Gaza in order not to duplicate efforts and are focusing on the government school shelters which are being administered by UNRWA but are less well equipped and also families that are displaced but not in these official shelters as almost no one is providing support for this population. MECA has a large network of partners in Gaza who are community-based organizations and are assisting with the distribution in their areas.

As we look towards a permanent ceasefire, MECA and our partners are also planning to relaunch a program called “Let the Children Play and Heal” which provides psychosocial support for children impacted by the violence and also trains parents, teachers, and new social workers in methods to help the children in their families and communities.