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Dubai Cares Launches Campaign To Provide 50,000 Back-To-School Kits For Children In Gaza
(4 January 2015)

 

Dubai Cares today launched a community campaign that aims to supply children in Gaza with school necessities to help them continue their education, in an effort to help inspire them for the start of the second half of the academic year as well as the New Year, following the latest round of violence in Palestine which saw over 138 schools bombed or damaged.

The "Rebuild Palestine: Start with Education" initiative is appealling for the assistance of UAE residents in providing 50,000 school kits at a community event scheduled between January 8th-11th, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Al Boom Tourist Village, located between Dubai Creek Park and Al Garhoud Bridge in Dubai. The campaign follows the Dubai Cares AED11 million (US$3 million) programme, which was launched in October 2013 to support access to education and mitigate the psycho-social effects of armed conflict on the student population in Gaza.

The third major conflict in six years in Gaza has had a severe impact on education. The latest round of violence was marked by a significant amount of infrastructural damage, with over 138 schools bombed or damaged over the course of the seven-week conflict, including 89 run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA. Over 90 UNRWA schools have been transformed into shelters for internally displaced people, more than half of whom are children. Since the open-ended ceasefire at the end of August, the school year has resumed but over 253,000 UNRWA students require urgent support.

Speaking about the need to restore the educational infrastructure in Gaza, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares, said, "When a region like Gaza is tarnished by violence, the priority is to ensure survival and protection. Unfortunately, the children of Gaza have consistently been the innocent victims of this dispute with their present and futures compromised due to the lack of security. For Dubai Cares, the "Rebuild Palestine: Start with Education" initiative is the next step in ensuring security. We hope to safeguard the children's future opportunities by equipping them with the needed support, including amenities to go back to school and continue their studies."

Al Gurg added, "Together, we will assemble 50,000 school kits for the children of Gaza and show communities around the world how our relentless efforts as well as our spirit of giving can make a huge difference in the lives of those innocent children." The four-day campaign is expected to attract thousands of volunteers who will assist Dubai Cares in assembling the back-to-school kits that will provide children with basic educational school supplies.

Al Gurg went on to say that the cumulative impact of decades of violence in Palestine has been felt across socio-economic-political platforms. "Children as well as adults have suffered material losses on top of the physical and psychological trauma that is now manifesting in a sluggish economy as well as volatility within communities," he explained.

"We need to address this situation and provide educational support to the children, so that they have a chance to overcome this debilitating environment and plant the seeds for a more peaceful and productive future. By distributing these kits, we are not only encouraging children to go back to school but also emphasising that the global community is invested in their growth and success," Al Gurg added.
 

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