Middle East Children's Alliance

The Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA) is a non-profit organization working for the rights of children in the Middle East by sending humanitarian aid, supporting projects for children and educating North American and international communities about the effects of the US foreign policy on children in the region.
May 1, 2015

Getting ready for Creative Writing with children in Gaza! New training of trainers began last week!

Using skype to overcome physical barriers!
Using skype to overcome physical barriers!

Our training for trainers with partners in Gaza is off to a great start!

MECA has contracted with Maya Abu AlHayat, a professional writer, storyteller and director of the Palestine Writing Workshop in the West Bank to lead a training on creative writing for our partners in Gaza. Maya was not able to get a permit to enter Gaza for the training, but that didn't stop us!

Last week, Maya led the first training session via skype for a group of librarians, social workers, and university students from four community centers across the Gaza Strip. They are learning how to use creative writing as a tool for children to channel their loss and trauma. 

Participants had great things to say about the first training and are eagerly waiting the next session!

We are so proud of this group and their commitment to helping children in their communities. With electricity only available 2-8 hours per day in Gaza, even a simple skype call is hard to schedule.

More updates coming soon!

These trainers are eager to gain new skills
These trainers are eager to gain new skills
Small group work during the first training session
Small group work during the first training session
Apr 14, 2015

1,690 warm outfits for infants in Gaza

Distribution in villages near Khan Younis
Distribution in villages near Khan Younis

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

Preparing aid packages in Gaza City
Preparing aid packages in Gaza City
Making distribution lists
Making distribution lists
Feb 12, 2015

Warm clothes and gas for heaters provided to refugee families

Entrance to "Children of Jalil Center" our partner
Entrance to "Children of Jalil Center" our partner

Thanks to your generosity, we have been able to support an important project called "Hand to Hand" to provide relief to 500 families from the cold winter. The project is in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon close to the border with Syria where more than 400,000 people have settled after fleeing the violence in Syria.

The situation is dire for these families and has been exacerbated by a cold winter and severe storms. At least four Syrian refugees in Lebanon have died from the cold.

"The worst is at night," Asma, an eight year old refugee living in the Bekaa valley confided. "Sometimes I do not feel my feet and I am scared. Blankets are humid and we do not have wood to light a fire."

We are working with a community organization that has a strong track record in the area and provides relief and educational programming for families and children.

With a grant from MECA, they are purchasing and distributing warm children's clothing and gas for heaters to 500 refugee families. We are coordinating with other relief agencies to make sure we are reaching families in need who haven't been reached.

We will provide more details about the distribution and the families who received aid thanks to your support in the coming weeks and months. 

Distribution point for Hand to Hand project
Distribution point for Hand to Hand project

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