Tuesday, 5 August 2014

On Gaza, And Caring From Afar.

The other week as I literally ran out of Newtown I passed a group of people who'd set up a table on the side of the street, asking for signatures. Something about Palestine.

"No." I said it politely.

Dave called me back to say, shouldn't we sign this? I told him I don't know enough about it to sign it. I hardly know anything about the hair-trigger unrest and war and killings in Israel and Palestine. It's been in the news since as far back as I remember.

There's a lot of bad stuff happening everywhere lately, isn't there? My six-year old Rocco has been exposed to some news stories and for the first time ever is scared to go to bed, thinks people will come into the house. He makes me lock the doors before he brushes his teeth and he's having nightmares where people are trying to kill him. I've stopped putting the news on at 6pm like I always do. I tell him Australia is a safe country, we are ok, there's nothing to be scared of.

Over 1500 people have been killed in Gaza in the past month, many of them children. This is nine-year old World Vision sponsee Mustafa.

Photo - World Vision

Mustafa, his mother, and two little sisters were killed five days ago when a tank shell hit them as they were trying to evacuate.

Mustafa just celebrated his birthday. He liked playing football, puzzles, and board games.

World Vision have been working in Gaza since 1988 and the past year their projects over there have achieved amazing results with children, using psychosocial programs to significantly reduce their distress. All children have the right to live in safety, free from violence, fear and need. World Vision continues to call for a lasting and just peace for the region.

I walked Rocco to school this morning in the winter sunshine without a care in the world. He's going on an excursion today, SO excited. There was a small rock stuck in his boot so we sat down and got it out and when he got a stitch we slowed our pace and he grabbed my hand and told me I was the best mum in the whole entire university. (I just cannot correct him to say "universe.")

My kids are so lucky to not even know how lucky they are.

Walking past the destruction. Photo by Mohammad Awad, World Vision

A destroyed World Vision child-friendly space. Photo by Mohammad Awad, World Vision

World Vision distributed food packages to 130 families in Gaza during the brief ceasefire on Saturday July 26. Many of the families who received food packages are housing extra people who have been displaced by the conflict in their homes. Photo by Mohammad Awad - World Vision

More than 140,000 people are displaced, with the majority hosted in UNRWA schools. There are approximately 1.8 million people within the Gaza Strip, all are affected. 

This guy travelled to Gaza and came back to report on what he saw. He's so obviously moved and affected, and incredibly eloquent. I like him a lot. THIS is journalism.

It's important to spread the word. Thousands, millions of people around the world are hoping for a lasting ceasefire while these children are living their darkest nightmare. Light a candle. Say a prayer. Hold them in your heart.


If you would like to help people in Gaza, World Vision is dedicating funds donated to their Disaster Ready fund to this emergency between 5 Aug-5 Sept. You can call 13 32 40 or visit www.worldvision.com.au/emergencyprepare

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