Jerrahi Order of America contributes to MAP (Medical Aid for Palestanians) Children programs in Gaza
Case Studies from Al Karmel Nutrition programme, Gaza
These three children spoke to MAP in November 2010 during the Eid al-Adha period. They were amongst hundreds of Gazan children taking part in the activities at Al Karmel. The activities included health education messages critical to their mental and physical development and growth and the provision of healthy meals.
1. Maha Hadayed, 8-year-old girl Maha is in her third year at the elementary school; her favourite class is Arabic. She lives with her three sisters, two brothers, and mother in the Al Fukhari area of Khan Younis. Her father passed away a few years ago after a long suffering of cancer, and the only support the family receive is a very small amount of financial support from an NGO in the area. Maha said that she comes to the Al Karmel activities with her sister Maysaa’, after hearing about it from Azmi, who is one of Al Karmel’s staff members. She asked her mother if she could attend and her mother agreed. Maha described how when they registered to join Al Karmel activities, they measured their weight and height. Then they started to attend to eat the nutritious meals and to take part in the educational activities. She likes the food that Al Karmel provides for them. Maha says it’s good food: “I like it because we eat with all our friends together. I like the salad very much and also the fruit.” Maysaa’ says: “I like it very much at Al Karmel because they provide us food and place to play. I like all the food here and also the salad. It will help us to grow up and our weight to increase. It’s delicious!”
2. Rami Al Amour, 7-year-old boy Rami is from Al Fukhari area and his favourite class is sport. Rami lives with his family in a house with three brothers and twelve sisters, and their parents. His father can’t find work but they breed some chicken and pigeons. Rami attends Al Karmel’s project with his sister Razan, who both heard about it from Azmi. He said that Al Karmel took their weight and height when they registered to participate in the programme. “When I go to school, I don’t have money from my father but my aunt daughter gives me something small to buy chips - she gives me every day,” says Rami. He likes the food that Al Karmel provides: “I like Mujadarah very much and also the fruit.” He says that he enjoys the games, especially “the cat and the mouse”. Rami says that his family can’t buy him new clothes for Al Adha feast but he will wear clothes they bought him on Ramadan eid. Rami says: “I’m happy because Eid is approaching, and my uncles will give me money...” At the sessions Rami has learned to keep his hair and clothes clean, to wash the fruit before eating, and to throw the garbage in the rubbish bin. Rami believes that the food they have at Al Karmel is useful and it helps to strengthen his body. “The meals will help to increase my weight. I want to be stronger!”
3. Ibrahim Al Aqaad, 11-year-old boy Ibrahim lives in Salah Al Dien St. next to Khan Younis governorate. He has three brothers and three sisters, and they all live with their parents in a house of three rooms. Ibrahim’s father cannot find work. Ibrahim’s favourite class at school is the English class and he is proud that his grade is 90%. Ibrahim was told about the Al Karmel programme from his health teacher at his school, Mr. Maher Al Zweety, who nominated him to Al Karmel. After Al Karmel measured his weight and his height, he was selected to be included in the feeding programme: “My home is not very far from here. I walk 15 minutes to reach the place. First I learned to wash my hands before and after the meals.” “I like all the food they bring us,” says Ibrahim. “Especially El Kebab, the salad, the fruit and the chicken. I come here because my body is weak and thin. I eat good food here and I play. My favourite game is the water and the Ice and the fruit game.” *** All of the children in this programme were assessed by health specialists and specially chosen because they are at high risk from malnutrition and consequent health problems. The programme is continuing to make a lasting difference to children and their mothers across the Khan Younis area.