Department of Service for Palestinian Refugees Gaza Update–January 30, 2009

Department of Service for Palestinian Refugees Gaza Update–January 30, 2009

Department of Service for Palestinian Refugees Gaza Update–January 30, 2009

Department of Service for Palestinian Refugees
Middle East Council of Churches
Gaza Update–Friday, January 30, 2009

Efforts are ongoing to restart the work of the destroyed Shija’ia Clinic. Various teams from NECC Gaza, including carpenters, electricians and blacksmiths side by side with construction workers have been visiting a building that is destined to house the clinic temporarily. Hopefully, this building can be transformed to suit the purposes of the clinic.

Our Health Clinics are back to work and undertaking activities. In Khirbet Addas in Southern Gaza Strip as well as in Darraj in Gaza City itself our Primary Health Care Center is weighing infants who have not been weighed and checked since the war started. The Dental Clinic is operating and doing the rounds. Home visits for expecting mothers and infants suffering from malnutrition are being made after the forced stoppage due to the war.

Our Vocational Training Centers are once again operating. Students have started receiving the training and implementing their homeworks according to the schedules. Upon their return to training, students heard that one of their peers is on hospital having been injured during the war and so they undertook a visit to him to show support and concern.

DSPR-Gaza reports that they have received the 50,000 bottles of water each having 1.5 liters that were donated by DanChurchAid for the purpose of using them with the preparation of infant milk. Part of this water will be used by Ahli Hospital as well. 100,000 additional water bottles are expected in Gaza but we have been having some coordination problems and we are hoping that within one week we would be able to secure these bottles to DSPR-Gaza.

DSPR-Gaza plans to work in the next few months on the following:

–Restarting of the Shija’ia Clinic and put it to work in temporary building. For the medium and long terms, serious talk is being done to see if we can build a Model Clinic also environmentally safe that can be for the service of the Gaza population. More talk and discussion will have to take place within DSPR and also as important with our partners. We appreciate receiving from our partners any designs, architectural plans and other information on Model Primary Health Clinics in their own countries. This would help us plan and decide on how to proceed.

–Ongoing programs will be in full force and these include:
a) the Health Clinics with the introduction of the Psycho Social component in them and the hiring of short term professionals for this as well as other requirements of the medical program;
b) the Vocational Training Programs will go on and attention will be given to any problems resulting from the war to our students and their families;
c) the relief program proposed by the MEPL81 ACT Appeal will proceed as expected and we hope to reach thousands of families in need of cash.

Cash remains a problem and we are working to see how we can secure some operational cash whenever we can.

Some of our students report on their experiences during the war:
–One student said that after being evacuated from the VTC the first day of war he joined his family in North Gaza but the family’s modest home was bombarded and destroyed completely. So they had to go to an UNRWA school and after the war they were housed at his uncle’s home showing the family solidarity and mutual dependence.
–One other student in carpentry spoke about how they lost everything and he mentioned specifically the clothes and the books, especially textbooks, beside having his eldest brother killed when a car passing by their home was targeted by the Israeli army. The student himself was injured in the leg as a result and he was hospitalized for some days.
–A third student spoke how his home was burnt completely by what appeared to be phosphorus rockets. He mentioned that his family lost all: books, beds, sitting room and most they did not know how to deal with the rockets and be protected from them.
–One parent of our students thanked the Almighty for the fact that his family members were all OK in spite of the fact that their home was fully destroyed.