In the aftermath of the latest escalation of violence in Gaza, Islamic Relief’s vital humanitarian aid continues – but we need your support to assist families in need.
Gaza has been subject to widespread damage to its infrastructure, and had thousands of homes destroyed. Many families have lost their homes.
Islamic Relief has been a constant lifeline. So far we have distributed 1,200 food vouchers to affected families. The vouchers cover the cost of food for 1 month and offer more choice and flexibility than if we simply gave them food parcels. We have also distributed 110 bedding sets to vulnerable families. However, we urgently need your support to help rebuild their lives.
With your support, we will be repairing damaged homes, as well as fixing healthcare facilities and schools, and providing them with the equipment they need to run smoothly.
We will also support special education centres and providing counselling to affected families. Our plans include supporting the repair of water systems so that homes are reconnected to water supplies, as well as upscaling our existing projects in Gaza which are a lifeline for many people.
Mothers like Om Na’el and Sana’a desperately need your help
“My house was well-equipped and furnished with everything we needed, but now it is a pile of rubble and has no value,” says Om Na’el. Her children are benefitting from Islamic Relief’s Orphan Sponsorship Programme, which gives them a regular stipend towards their basic needs and their children’s schooling.
“Our two-story house, which was housing more than 20 people, was bombed and completely destroyed.
“We had prepared for Eid and I had bought Eid clothes for my children, but instead of celebrating, we lived the days of Eid in fear and oppression. I later found the Eid dress that I bought for my daughter Ahlam, but it’s torn up! It is just as torn as my daughter’s heart.
“We also lost our chicken pen as a result of the bombing and destruction. We used to depend on it for eggs and poultry, which I needed to feed my family.
“My eldest son, Tamer, was preparing his apartment to get married. His wedding was supposed to be after Eid. Now I do not know when we will be happy again and celebrate his wedding. He no longer has a house and it is difficult to celebrate his marriage in such conditions.
“I am very worried about Ahlam. She was extremely distressed when she saw the house and we had to take her to the hospital”, says Om Na’el, describing how the trauma of the recent violence has severely impacted Ahlam’s mental health.
“I was afraid that I might lose her too. She was even more upset when she learnt that she had lost her photo album when the house was destroyed, and felt she had lost her good memories.
“When my sons found out about the bombing of our house, they also cried and screamed loudly, and they were asking me about their belongings and their clothes”, says Om Na’el.
Sadly, many children in Gaza have witnessed severe trauma and struggle with their mental health, which has long-term consequences. Child protection is an important feature of Islamic Relief’s work in Gaza and our teams work hard to provide vital counselling and support services to vulnerable children.
“Dreams and memories were buried under the rubble”
Sana’a lives with Om Na’el and is a mother of 2 children who are also sponsored by Islamic Relief.
“My children are not even 10 years old, and they have witnessed 4 terrible wars,” she says. “I really don’t know what their future will look like but I know they will live in great fear for all of their lives.
“They were shocked to find everything in the house was damaged.
“When the bombing intensified in our area, we ran to schools in the middle of the night. We were barefoot and our feet were badly injured. The situation was tragic and I cannot even describe it.
“I never imagined that our house would be bombed and we would become homeless.
“We tried to rent a house, but we couldn’t. There are large numbers of families like us who lost their homes and are looking for homes to rent.”
The 2 families are temporarily staying with relatives in the area until they can find a home. They desperately hope that their home will be rebuilt in the near future.
“The children have already lost their fathers, but we hope to find help to alleviate their grief. We need help to rebuild our house which will bring joy to our hearts and compensate our children. Their dreams and memories were buried under the rubble”, adds Sana’a.
We need your support
Ultimately people in Gaza need a lasting solution that can only come through an end to the Israeli occupation and the deep-rooted injustice that is at the heart of the situation. This is the fourth time in 12 years that bombing has destroyed thousands of homes and other civilian infrastructure in Gaza, and Islamic Relief is calling for international action to ensure this does not recur again. But in the meantime, families like Om Nael’s are homeless and urgently need our immediate support to rebuild their lives.
With your support, we will remain by the sides of vulnerable Palestinians during this latest crisis. Please donate to our Palestine Emergency Appeal now to support our vital work.