Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Visit Octobre 2017

I went down in the rain and by the time I got near Gaza the weather cleared and was gorgeous. Sabah and Wassel met me and we began to visit a school at the north with the aim of seeing two schools by day and some poor families.
Al Arabia School was the first where we found the children busy with their number and colors. One set of children played with toys on the rug in each class. Two classes took turns going to the play yard where they sat at tables and each received a delicious apple. This is a real treat as none get any of this costly fruit at home. This school, hopefully this month, will be getting an enlarged Kitchen and the children’s bathroom area will be separated from the kitchen.
After we went to the Saygie area where we found again the children very busy studying. The classrooms were clean and orderly. This school needs boards put along the wall so the children’s work can be put up.
We visited two homes, one of 14 people which included three families. The second home was that of an elderly couple of whom both were suffering from orthopedic problems and neither could barely walk.
Following these visits, Sabah, Wassel and I studied our financial situation to see how we can manage to help some added very poor families who still need food and blankets etc.
I visited Grada who helps in the parish and found that her elderly parents are very weak. Her Father especially needs care most of the day and the night. She was exhausted.
The following day we went to the Middle Camps area where both schools are located. Again, the children were busy at work. This day both schools were serving large buns with chocolate and one school was serving a dish of hot sweet corn also to the children. Each school has some needs for more tables and chairs and such. The same morning Fr. Mario offered us two large round tables and some nice playground equipment and this will be given to one of the schools.
We had some banking to do and were invited to Fawyseh’s for a quick dinner before I left again for the boarder. It was a full two days.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Visit in July 2017


I went down alone on a very hot day. It was 40 degrees Celsius. Sabah met me at the border as usual. We had to do some banking first and was told to return the following day. We began by going to the office to discuss the coming school year. School materials would be given the teachers early in September as usual. Registration would begin at the beginning of September and actual classes would begin mid-September. An outing with all the schools we’d try to do on our next visit.

Politically things are changing as Moh'd Dahlan who is challenging Mamoud Abass's leadership has been visiting Arab nations for financial support. He has given Egypt five million dollars to create two boarder passages between Egypt and Gaza one for materials and one for people to pass complete with camera, computers and controls. This means that Egypt is ready to open the border for 24 hours for everyone.

Sabah hopes to go soon to Egypt as she hopes to take her vacation later this month. Her husband Nazem her daughter Ream and she have gotten the visa for Jordon to travel and await now the permission form Israel to leave via Eretz for a month. Only the medical program is going on in July and August due to few funds for the emergency relief program at present.

Not having seen Dr. Amina for months nor Jamil her husband, both of whom volunteer hours for us each month we decided to visit them. They are fine and have one daughter still at home with them. Both of their sons are abroad as are Sabah's.

The following day we went to the bank we visited two families living in terrible conditions. Both Sabah and I took some pictures of their buildings. The first family needs a bathroom and a simple kitchen and flooring, the second two families who live in the same building on two floors. They need new roofs and bathrooms and simple kitchens. I wrote Oliver and Maren to see if they are ready to send us the funds for the food program a bit early and asked if they could help with two more home renovations.

Fr. Stan is back and we have asked him to try to keep our website up to date.

My older sister is in the fourth degree of cancer which has attacked several organs of her body, so she won't live long. This was discovered only two weeks ago. Perhaps I will be going home to be with her and the family in August. Please keep her in your prayers, her devoted husband, great children and grandchildren and all of us.

                                                                                             Sr. Susan Sheehan
                                                                                               July 6, 2017

Visit of Sister Susan in June 2017

I down alone this time and the weather was lovely. Right away we distributed food bags to 9 families who all lived in the same general area in the north and some poor in Gaza City. All were living in shacks or very damaged buildings due to the last war. One family had three handicapped children. Despite their poverty all the homes were clean.    
Sabah told us that our present office building which was Sabah’s older home will be destroyed soon, so we must move. She is looking for a possible building to use. One possibility is a building which her son used and is still renting to be able to store his furnishing there. We will share the expenses involved.    
Sabah, her husband and daughter were hoping to get permission to travel in July.
I visited Sr. Bridget and after Grada who faithfully working with Fr. Mario of the parish taking the children, teens and older women for prayer and they also celebrate all the feast days with the parish. That evening she served me a delicious meal.
The second day we went to Musaddar School and visited the very poor in this area. We saw women sitting outside preparing a meal, Families with handicapped children, a very sick woman and great poverty in each home. Many asked for food. It was not easy to witness all this distress. We would like to be able to do much more for each family.  

Lorenzo e Martino visit in March 2017

The two Brothers had a full two days with Sabah. They visited several families and especially some who had requested food. We find that many families are asking for food as the general situation in Gaza is getting worse. There is less money in circulation due to low salaries and high unemployment. The pictures tell the truth of the situation.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Visit in February 2017

Fr. Stan and I joined Sabah and Wasel and our first stop in Gaza was at the El Arabia School where the children were busy learning their letters and some were coloring air-planes. They were eating apples. The kitchen there is very small and needs to be separated from the bathroom area. This will be studied to see if we can make this renovation.

We made some home visits and several of the families had no flooring, only sand under straw mats on the floor. They had only one foset and no running water for the bathroom. Some of the family members needed medicines and the papers for this was given to Sabah. One large family are ordered to leave their home, as they can’t pay the rent. They have no place to go. Sabah will try to help them with this. One family we know well has four handicapped women ages 25 to 45 and the mother who cared for them now has Alzheimer’s herself and needs care. A woman helps them during the day yet they need a person for the night as one of these women gets up and is aggressive toward the others in the night. We went home wondering how we can meet the needs of these families.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Early January Visit 2017

I went down a sunny Monday morning and as usual Sabah and Wasel met me at the border. We visited Fawyseh's School first and were impressed by the serious studies going on and the music being taught by one teacher in preparations for Mother's Day in February. Nice red apples were the treat for the day. We visited the little kitchen which needs to be enlarged and saw how it must be separated from the bathrooms. That's the next project for this school.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Visit September 19, 2016

Fr. Juan and I went to Gaza just for the day September 19th. and really covered visiting many places. We began with a visit to Fawyseh's school. Being it is the beginning of the school year there were few children; gradually more will be registering. The children were eating falafel sandwiches which were delicious.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Visit in August 2016

I spent two days in Gaza the first day joined the 18 teachers of our four pre-schools who met with a music teacher. Our original plan was to have a three day workshop for the 17 teachers so that they could all learn how to animate their children with music and dance.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Meeting with Oliver and Maren

June 18 was a great day for us as after 6 years Oliver and Maren came for a visit. They wanted to sit in on one of our meetings which was great. They answered some questions for us besides. Home repair especially for families with handicapped members  is a great need. We will continue to target this group. In the winter months the wind, cold and rain enter. In summer the rats and snakes enter. There are still so many substandard homes and shacks to be repaired. Security from sicknesses will also be the result. They usually need roofs, windows and doors replaced. Hopefully we can get funding to repair one a month.
In the photos regretfully Sabah is missing as she did not have her permission to come for the meeting in time. Br. Lorenzo was also missing due to a previous commitment. Bro. Joe is our senior member, Andres is the tallest of the group, Fr. Juan is to my left in the photo.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Emergency Relief Fund through Lor., February, March and April 2016

Some photos of the distribution, in February, March and April 2016, to poor families in the Gaza Strip, of the basic necessities.