Thanks to all of you, this project for building a water treatment unit at the Rehabilitation Centre for the Visually Impaired in Gaza is fully funded!
Any excess funding will go to build an additional water treatment unit at a UN school or kindergarten in Gaza. The Middle East Children's Alliance has 15 units planned for installation in the coming year, joining the more than three dozen existing units we have built in the last 5 years.
However, the water crisis in Gaza continues. According to a recent Unicef survey, 20 percent of Gazan children suffer from waterborne diseases. Gaza need not be a sewer.
For ways to get involved further, please visit www.mecaforpeace.org or contact us directly. The ongoing occupation and blockade against Palestine will continue to exarcerbate environmental conditions, creating a landscape where children continue to lack one of the most basic human rights: the right to safe and clean access to drinking water.
with the Middle East Children's Alliance
We thank YOU for fully funding this project to bring clean water to children with disabilities at the Rehabilitaion Centre for the Visually Impaired ( RCVI) in Gaza!
This project depends on donors and supporters who believe in our work and in the future of children in Palestine.
If you have any questions, concerns, ideas for future projects or ways to be involved in existing ones, please contacts us at firstname.lastname@example.org/(510) 548-0542.
We will be posting updates on our website and on our email list once this water system is installed and in use at the RCVI!
with the Middle East Children's Alliance
When I started this campaign from Gaza last December, I have to admit I was pretty doubtful about online fundraising. I had just witnessed the aftermath of the 8 day bombing of Gaza, and I felt incompetent and unable to explain what I had witnessed, and the depth of the water crisis, and I did not think an online fundraising campaign would work. But I had to try something.
This excerpt from a little seen report from the water authorities in Gaza was released September 2nd. It brought me back to Gaza and I wanted to share it with you.
"The water authority of coastal municipalities in Gaza Strip has warned of an imminent environmental and health disaster in the besieged enclave....The authority warned that the fuel crisis coupled with the summer season, where demand on water is in its peak, had almost crippled its ability to provide necessary watersupplies to citizens.
It said that the fuel shortage would also lead to halting sewage treatment and would force the municipalities to pump untreated sewage water into the sea, which would further exacerbate pollution and negatively affect the environment and human health."
This report is one of many reasons to be concerned, depressed and outraged. The water crisis only deepens. The refugee crisis throughout the Middle East only increases.
However, I want to share with you that over the past nine months, I have been consistently heartened by the communications, messages and support I have received through this campaign from all of you, and I have shared these campaign updates with my friends and colleagues in Gaza. It has been astounding to hear from people throughout the world, and to share in this simple act of solidarity ....to act to help provide children clean drinking water.
This year, MECA is installing 14 other water purification units. This unit, for the children at the Rehabilitation Centre for the Visually Impaired, will be the 15th. This is because of you.
In the coming weeks, I believe we can reach our goal- we are almost there. As you know, Gaza is under siege, and getting visas is difficult, coordinating travel even more so. We will provide you with further details as we can, but please do not hesitate to contact me with any thoughts, comments or concerns you may have.
You have my deepest appreciation and thanks.
We continue to try to direct new and continuing supporters until we reach our fundraising goal so that we can build a water treatment system at the RCVI.
The Middle East Children's Alliance staff in the US is looking at next steps to arrange travel to enter Gaza to allow the continuation of program visits. Entering Gaza, due to the blockade, is incredibly difficult and requires visas acquired by our partners at UNRWA.
The summer is approaching and schools will soon be out of session. We hope to advance this campaign so that building can begin over the summer and children can arrive to a school that provides on site safe, clean drinking water!
Please join us in spreading the word, you can contact us for more information at email@example.com at any time.
I visited the RCVI in December 2012, after the 8 day bombing of Gaza, with Executive Director Barbara Lubin. Fortunately the center was fine, but the children at the center, like all the children I saw, were visibly shaken by the recent violence. There were signs of trauma in children everywhere, which is why the Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA) is focusing all of their emergency aid towards providing psycho social support for traumatized children.
I visited the center two days: one day the center was closed for a holiday and the second day children were just getting out of class. I was able to take pictures of the students and interact with them. I tasted the current water supply, which tastes like unfiltered seawater. These visits reinforced how urgent this project is and motivated me to focus on making sure it is successful.
We met with Dr Said Ghabayan, water expert and technical advisor, who was informed that the RCVI would be a future site for the installation of a reverse osmosis water treatment system. He educated us about recent improvements they have made to the systems, such as adding automatic shut off valves, and it was agreed we would conduct research and try to procure better taps, as over time the current ones can get worn down or break.
Dr Ghabayen will begin with a formal site evaluation and conduct water testing at the Rehabilitation Centre for the Visually Impaired ( RCVI) in the near future. It has been a relief to be in regular email contact with him since my return to the United States and keep him posted on our fundraising progress. Once the funding goal is reached, we will then be able to approach the contracted company for installation. Through our contractual agreements and with the assistance of MECA staff in Gaza, MECA also provides one year of maintenance to the systems and training to local UN staff on maintenance, changing filters and upkeep. We have also initiated an educational component where students at schools where these water systems are installed learn about the water crisis in Gaza, how it is a result of the occupation, and involve children in taking ownership and pride in the water system at their school.
Thanks for your support and please help us reach our goal by spreading the word!
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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