Help Fida, save the Lifemakers Centre in Rafah!
In previous posts, I've mentioned the work of the tireless Fida Qishta of Rafah, which we are highlighting in our latest short documentary, "Where do the Children Play?". Many of you have asked me how you can help support Fida's work-either by way of donating to the playground project currently in the works, or the Centre itself. I've just learned from Fida that because they are no longer able to pay the rent, the Centre may shut down, and they are in dire straights. She's asked me to send the word out about their situation and see if anybody can assist. Here is some more information from her on the Centre itself. Donations can be made directly to Fida.
Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
We are life makers in Palestine , Gaza strip , Rafah city .
As part of our work we started the Life Makers Center as a start, for children, which tries to provide an oasis of peace in a particularly devastated and impoverished area. We currently receive more than 250 children. We started with 40 children, three times a week , for three a hours after school. If we have more recourses we would accommodate more children and this is a long - term aim of ours.
Our main objective is to give children a safe place to play, to educate and help children overcome trauma .
At the center , we started with 40 children that was in 2004 , but now in 2006 our projects received more than 300 kids .
At the center volunteers from Rafah ,Gaza strip (students or postgraduates ) teach and play with the children who aged between 7 and 17. Generally , we divide our three hours sessions into three parts – an hour of English lessons ,an hour of play, singing and dancing ,and an hour of discussing the children's' lives and problems.
Most of these children come from the Hay salam and El Brazil border area . The majority have had their homes bulldozed and now live with relatives . Their families are too poor to move further away from the border area. Many of the children have witnessed violence first hand. Some have seen relatives killed, their homes demolished , or have been injured themselves.
We provide activities for children , for example handicraft, painting, reading , English lessons, games and tours .
Our team is not psychologists but it is clear to us that the children from the border are deeply traumatized after years of conflict . our dearest wish is to help these children to the best of our ability , welcome any professional training to help us do a better job in helping the children to deal with sadness, anger ,depression and fear.
For now, we do our best by giving them attention , affection and security. Our biggest objective is to create a bit of normality for these children- where they can come and play in a supervised, safe area , with their patents approval, and forget for a while the tanks , bulldozers and soldiers they can see from their homes.
At mainstream school , they find it hard to concentrate because their minds are on what's happening outside and learning is not their priority . the children like the center because there is no pressure , no exams and its fun atmosphere.
We are officially open 7 hours a day , and most the kids turn up every day and we never turn them away . we would like to extend our centre to help other children especially younger ones .how ever , to date we haven’t been able to afford that expansion .
We charge 5 shekels (1$us ) a month for the children to attend our centre. However, many of the parents can't afford this so we group members have use our personal earnings to keep the centre open.
We thank all people who understand our mission .