Hope and Play is delighted to report back to St Mary’s that the projects in Gaza to which your parishioners so kindly donated are well under way.
The donation was given to support severely traumatized children in Gaza to improve their life and educational opportunities by providing them with trauma therapy within the context of their daily lives—their schools, their families, and their community. In conjunction with other kind donors, the funding provided by St Mary’s went to support five community-based organizations to deliver the psychosocial-therapy programme. Three centres were chosen from the north of Gaza, one from the middle of the Gaza strip, and the fifth from Rafah, the southern tip that borders Egypt.
In each centre, 100 of the most heavily traumatized children were selected. In addition to the psychosocial therapy, they received supplementary education to strengthen their Arabic and maths skills, therapeutic arts, crafts, poetry and drama classes, and participated in community-focused festival days.
In addition each community centre selected two recent psychology graduates to be provided with in-depth training to support this programme, and to remain available to the community after its completion. This is a critical part of the project as it allows us not only to directly impact the selected children’s lives, but also to deepen ongoing capability in the Gaza strip to deal with an issue that looks like it will continue sadly for some time.
Hope and Play were also delighted one of your parishioners supported our birthday party programme, whereby a local Iffley child’s birthday is celebrated with a children’s party in Gaza. This has the double impact of providing much needed fun and enjoyment for the children there in the party itself, as well as also supporting further work on our trauma programme. You can find out more about this programme at hopeandplay.org/products/birthday-partydonation. The scheme can also occur at this end from a wedding, wedding anniversary, or other special occasion. Contributions smaller than mentioned could be accepted by prior agreement. If organizers among the recipients know English, there may be the opportunity to open a limited exchange of correspondence with the children.
Personal donations, with Gift Aid if appropriate, will be welcome at Hope and Play, 71 Chudleigh Road, Twickenham TW2 7QP.
Iyas AlQasem, trustee