The Great March of Return, which began in March 2018, strongly affected Palestine refugee students in Gaza. Since the start of the demonstrations, 13 students have been killed and 227 students injured.
Injured students often missed at least two weeks of school as a result of their injuries, with some students requiring much longer absences. Prolonged absences from school, coupled with the additional stress resulting from their injuries, may be a trigger for dropping out of school.
UNRWA strives to provide psychosocial support to all UNRWA students. In 2019, 274 school counsellors are identifying and supporting children experiencing psychosocial problems.
Your Gift of Eid supports the deployment of psychosocial counsellors in schools in Gaza, so children can have the support they need to live their best life.
“One day I heard that one of my students, Yousef, had been injured in the Great March of Return”, explains an UNRWA teacher. “He was away from school for two months. When he came back he was broken mentally and physically.” Tragically, children have begun to normalize these injuries: “All the kids have seen it before, it is all around them.” When Yousef was asked why he went to the Great March of Return demonstrations, he answered that his life is full of problems and he was curious to see the protests. “It should be shocking that a child decides to go to the demonstrations by himself, but this has become a commonplace.”
For many children in Gaza, life under the blockade has made them feel desperate. They can’t leave Gaza. They look around and all they see is poverty and violence. For children in Gaza, psychosocial support is critical in helping them cope with trauma and violence surrounding them.
Your Gift of Eid can support children, like Yousef, to receive the care they need to and have the childhood they deserve.