Wednesday, March 28, 2018

We need your help for too family in emergency

Family from the Zaitoun area
The Zaitoun area is an old and very poor section of Gaza City. The family owns their own home which is very small. This room is on the roof of the building. It is used for eating, sleeping and for the bathroom. It is not sanitary, so the children have many skin problems. It is one small room with no kitchen or bathroom. The electricity, as it is wired, is not safe. The roof is old made of Zengo or corrugated metal. As a result it is very hot in the summer and cold in the winter. The mother must carry water from a water tank on a higher roof.
The father works cleaning a small shop near earing 10 NIS or about $2.40 daily. He has a wife and three children and with this small sum they cannot even buy milk for the children. The oldest child is four years old.
The cost of the renovations of this small home is: the bathroom 4,000
                                                                       The kitchen    3,500
                                                            Windows and doors   1,500
                                                         Roof for the one room   2,000
                                                                                 Labor  2,000
                                                                                  Total 13,000 which is $3,700

We ask our readers if anyone could please help this family in need of a proper home for this young family to help us to find the funding to renovate their home.

March – Family from Shegaylia Area
The Shegaylia area is a very old and very poor area of Gaza City. It was heavily hit by shelling in the last war.
This is a family of six who live in a house which is own by the father’s father. When the son married he tried to build a floor on the roof for his family. He was able to only build the walls and roof on the room that they have. Yet it has no bathroom or kitchen nor has it any windows or doors. The family must go downstairs to his parents’ home to the bathroom. When it is very cold and rainy they all go down to sleep on the floor in the grandparents’ house. This is because water enters everywhere in their home on the roof.
The father works for 20 NIS a day and this is not enough for food and milk for the family. They are missing nutritious meals and basic needs.
The grandfather is very ill and will soon have open heart surgery. Being he is ill he hasn’t work so they have no income now for some time. Their home is very damp and unhealthy. They too are very poor.
The cost needed to make the home suitable to live in on the top floor means replacing the doors, windows and putting in a bathroom and a kitchen. The total sum to make these repairs is 5,000 NIS or $1,500. If any of our readers would be able to help us find this sum it would greatly assist this family of six to live in a healthy home.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Visit in February 2018

Fr. Stanislav and I got a late start down due to car troubles, yet was able to visit one school and three very needy families the first day. The first school was that of the north, Al Arabia, which is near the frontier not far from where we enter. This school we helped recently by enlarging the kitchen and separating it from the children's bathrooms. We were pleased with the work. 

Yet we found that the roof of the children's bathrooms was penetrated with water. We took pictures of it. Sabah had shown it to our architect and he said that it needs to be removed and be replaced with one with a slant, so the water will run off. Fr. Stan was in agreement of this need and solution. We need to get an estimate of the cost.

Bro. Lorenzo had been down for a visit earlier in the months and he saw with Sabah the three homes which we also visited. The three families which we visited are in different stages of having their homes renewed. As we arrived at the first home the man to put in new windows and doors was present and was measuring the places for the windows and doors. Sabah discussed with him the project, our driver, who is an honest man has begun to help her to close good materials and to bargon for the prices with her. 

The second home had a kitchen built which had to be built outside the main building. It was built one meter smaller than we stipulated. Sabah was very upset with this and contacted the entrepreneur about it. This home will also get a cover over the area between the main building and the kitchen and the bathroom as a protection from the rain and cold. The entrance which is sand for flooring to the bathroom needs to be covered as well as cover a hole which is dangerous to all those coming and going.

The third home of 11 people has had the pipes put in for the bathroom and kitchen and the walls done. It looks great. They still need the sinks and toilets installed. The floor was not included in this renovation, yet we see that it is critical for the family as it is sand and cement which is crisscrossed with of pipes running to the kitchen and to the bathroom. It will cost an added 1,000 shekels which we must find.

The two schools which we visited the second day were in the Middle Camps south of Gaza City. Hannan's School is the one we had hoped could have a second floor added to be able to include more children. Sabah had the entrepreneur study it and he said that the building is too old to add a floor. He suggested that they add a class in front of the building in the play yard. We had provided last year the flooring for it, so it only needs one full wall, one half wall and two doors and two windows to create a nice classroom. We must find the funding for this added room as the children are very crowed in their present classrooms. Old tables can have new Formica tops put on them for this room as their metal legs are still in good condition.

Visiting these homes put us in direct contact with families that had nothing, and we could see that they had very little food and were hungry. The Missionaries of Charity said that daily people were coming to them too for food. With the deterioration of the general situation there we must find money to feed the very needy again.  did write one organization for funding.

We had to leave early the second day as the price of gasoline went up causing the prices of taking taxis to rise. The taxis all protested this change by striking for two hours.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Visit January 2018

Fr. Juan and Sr. Susan’s visit Jan. 23 and 24

Sabah decided to have the children’s clothing which we had purchased for them from given in the four pre-schools when we visited. The money not used for food in January was used for these outfits. The children had semester break and so this money was left. Each child received matching shirt and pants or “training” as it is called here. We witnessed firsthand their joy at receiving these outfits.

Each day we visited two schools. We also saw the meals that they were being served and the letters and numbers that they were learning. In November Sabah gave us a list of the needs which each school presented to her. We saw that they were valid needs some children were without a chair, two children shared one little chair, some classrooms did not have enough tables. Others needed rugs for the corners where they played on the floor. None of the schools had electricity at the time we were there. Some classes were very dark. At the Missionaries of Charity, we discovered mats that can be washed easier than rugs so we will try using these mats letting one classroom try them. They are soft, washable and come in pieces.

One school has over 100 children in three classes and many other children are turned away. The children have no space. In this very poor rural area there is no other pre-school. Our dream is to find the financial resources about $15,000 to build a second floor to add classrooms. Hanan the director is a very capable administrator.

We visited three very poor families each of which had one to three mentally disabled children or young adults. Two of these families were living in a room or two without windows, doors, bathrooms and kitchens. You can see the pictures off their homes which tell the story. We had given each two blankets, yet they need much more.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Christmas greetings

Christmas 2017
The Prince of Peace is soon to be celebrated among us! May He change hearts so that Peace can really come to these two million people! All of you have made sacrifices in one form or other to help us to continue our programs in Gaza. We are happy to have this happy occasion to thank you sincerely for your support as you partner with us to meet the needs of families we visit.
This is also an occasion to let you know what we’ve done which is a direct result of your generosity. The four schools have been serving meals six days a week to 400 children and starting in January 460 children as one of our four schools has opened more classes. School supplies and materials have also been provided. The Catholic parish have given us for tables and playground equipment. We are in the process of enlarging and renovating the kitchen of another school in the north and separating the children’s bathroom area from the kitchen with a wall and a separate entrance.
The families who have little money for food have no money to provide health care or medicines for their sick members. Monthly we have been able to continue to provide medicines for about 30 to 40 monthly and orthopedic shoes for several children monthly.
Housing is still precarious. Many people live in buildings which have been damaged in the 2014 war where window, doors and part of the buildings are open to the air. Since last Christmas we have been able to redo roofs, flooring, window, doors, kitchens and bathrooms for five families. All the families do not need all of these items just mentioned, but they need several of them. El Omri of Germany sponsored four of these homes and Italian friends of Lorenzo have funded the last one. These five families surely are much healthier due to proper housing these cold and sometimes rainy winter days.
I remind you to follow our web site to know what is happening monthly. Fr. Stan our new member of our team is keeping our website up to date. Pictures tell the story of our visits and the events there.
Know that each of you are very much part of our services offered to the very poor who are in the rural areas and in the very poor section of Gaza City. Your support means so much to us. May the Lord bless each of you in turn for this help.

We are wishing you each abundant joys and blessings these Christmas holidays. May 2018 be a year of health and again many blessings.

                                                                                                                            Bro, Lorenzo, Fr. Juan, Fr. Stan
                                                                                                                            and Sr. Susan