Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Visit August 2019

Lorenzo’s visit August 7th. 2019
Lorenzo arrived by himself and Sabah and he went first to the homes being renovated. The first one was in the beach camp and this home was finished. There are photos to allow one to see the situation before the renovations and the changes made by the renovations. Lorenzo was very pleased to see the work well done.
Next they visited two more homes. These two we have studied and they are I great need of renovations. This we hope to do and have done before winter.
Many families have no money for school uniforms for children September. We will give 100 elementary age children a complete uniform. Two will be chosen from the families who are most needy.
They visited one of our pre-schools in the middle Camps and we will help put in new windows and tiles in their new room.
They went next to the Gezoor Society where they were distributing vegetables to families.
The day ended with a visit to Fr. Mario before he left for the boarder.
Our four pre-schools will open in mid-September. Registration begin August 30.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Visit July 2019

Visit to Gaza July 16 and 17
Juliana and Sr. Susan went down together. Sabah was there to meet us at the border. With the pre-schools closed for the summer we went right away to visit some poor families. We visited four and several were in need of having their home renovated. One family’s home was of cartons and some wooden posts and it was burnt to the ground. This was done only days before. In another home the father was in the demonstrations at the border and was shot in the leg. Due to living in a hygienic situation perhaps infection and gangrene settled into the wound. This resulted in his leg needing to be amputated above the knee. This family of five live in one room on the top of his mother’s home with now water or electricity. We hope to help this family have another room, a bathroom and a kitchen. Two homes are being renovated now and one is almost finished.
The second day was the day at one pharmacy to distribute the medications to the sick. We went to observe this process and listened to many sad stories of the women who came for medications. We had to go to the bank and sat with Sabah in the office to work on future projects. Two days before we went to Gaza the five of us in the team sat together and decided not to continue giving out food as other NGOs seem to be doing more of this and that we would begin given the items they need such as wheelchairs and walkers with this funding. Sabah strongly suggested that we start micro financing projects for unemployed University students.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Visit June 2019

Visit June 11 and 12 2019
We were so happy to go down after being absent for about six weeks from Gaza. Easter came and went and the Muslim Feast of El Fitter just finished. Sabah was in Turkey to see her children. Sr. Susan was in the US on her home visit and both are back only a few weeks. 
Sabah, Wasel and Sami the driver were all there to help us on the Gaza side as our permits were renewed. We needed to transfer money for June to Sabah’s sub account so we did that first. After we went to the office to catch up on the news. Four prominent high buildings were totally destroyed, each housed about 25 families so 100 families lost their homes. The reason was that these building housed some Jihad Islamic officials who are backed by Iran. After this a six months truce came into effect which seems to be holding.
Many international NGOs are now giving families food. The needs seem to be now items related to health: diaper, wheelchairs, medical beds, walkers, and special milk or insure for babies who have poor health, and blenders.
The Friday demonstrations are reduced now. UNERWA has deduced all their services. ENERA has left as US Aid has stopped. People have lost all trust in the government and the news as reported by the media. The regulations for the fishing is the same; they have not lengthened the miles out that the fishermen can fish as promised in the media.
We’ve been asked by a Japanese NGO to help them care for a very poor area of Gaza City which is Karima. There are 200 families in this area. We visited four houses in this area and found extreme poverty. Last month the Japanese NGO fed 100 families and we fed 100 families.
No one can swim in the sea now for some years or they contact skin diseases or hepatitis.
Our pre-schools are closed for the summer, yet our other programs continue: help the sick to obtain medicines, diapers are given to 15 individuals monthly and 100 families receive a bag of food.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Visit March 2019

Visit March 18 and 19 2019

Three of us went down this time Lorenzo, Juliana and Sr. Susan. Sabah was still abroad regretfully yet others helped us through the boarder to get in and Sami our driver and Wasel our Social Worker guided us through the two days. We visited two of our schools the first day and saw the homes that were recently renewed. We three had seen these homes before the renovations began and were delighted to see the change. Being it was close to Mother’s Day we saw the teachers and children busy preparing a program and gifts for their mothers. Three other families two of whom have disabled members were also visited. It had just rained the day before so many homes were still wet inside due to faulty roofs, no window and etc. The pictures speak for themselves. Hopefully Sabah will be home this week. She had prepared everything before she left and all was our programs were functioning well. One family all seven needed shoes including the mother, so we were able to give Wasel money to get them all shoes, so they could go back to school. We will be able to renovate another two homes soon due to the generosity of our benefactors.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Visit January 2019

The second visit was by Lorenzo and Sandra last week. They went for the day and visited 6 families. They saw much poverty as Sandra said they saw homes with no windows and doors and children with bare feet. They encountered the sick and one lady needed surgery in Egypt and received the permission to travel, yet didn’t have the money to go there. The Mininstry of Health pays for the operation. Lorenzo had cash with him, so he went to the bank and changed the money into sheckels so Sabah could give her the travel money.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Our Christmas Greeting for our benefactors

                 Christmas Joys and Blessings!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Dear Friends and Benefactors,
“A Light will shine on us this day; the Lord is born for us.”    Ps. 97

These have been dark days for the very poor of Gaza; your generosity has brought light to many families. 
Our families have received food packages, and chronically sick children and adults received urgently needed monthly medicines. Four pre-schools were able to feed 400 children six days a week with nutritious meals. Being it is Christmas and the three Kings shared their wealth with Jesus; you made it possible for us to add some toys with the 150 bags of food this month. If you could have only seen the many little faces lightening up as they discovered the ball or toys in their food bag. Four hundred and fifty children received new coats.
Youmade it happen because of your generosity, allowing us to be facilitators who are trying to give a Christian face of true love and caring in their moment of need. We gave very basic things such as noodles and rice, blankets, winter coats, roof repairs and repairs to cover holes in the walls.
Be assured of our daily prayers of gratitude from the five of us; two Brothers and three Sisters who go to Gaza monthly. We also ask the Lord to bless you and yours.
 You have been a blessing to many families of Gaza and their daily struggles.

Gratefully yours,
                                           Lorenzo, Martino. Sandra, Julianna, Susan

P.S. The pictures show a group of children with new winter coats which they received last week in one of our pre-schools. Another photo is of the teachers serving a falafel sandwich to the children and the third photo is of a family receiving food.


Friday, December 21, 2018

Visit December 2018

December 11 and 12th visit
This was a two day visit this time where we were able to visit two pre-schools the first day and two pre-schools the second day. We were fortunate a in each school we witnessed the children receiving warm winter coats. At first they were surprised and it took them a while to realize that these were their own coats and that they could take them home. Each school had a different color for the girls and boys and a different style.
We also witnessed the children getting a nice warm meal which included meat. The children were all hard at work learning their numbers or letters. A couple of schools really need toys as in each classroom one group plays on the rugs and another two groups work at the tables.
We visited four families and brought them a bag of food. Two of these families’ homes are in terrible condition. One of these homes is flooded up about 80 cm when it rains as the rain from the street runs into their home which is lower than the street. I don’t know how they manage. We will try to find help for them.
As usual we stayed the night with the Missionaries of Charity who are always so welcoming. We had a nice visit with Fr. Mario, the parish priest and he had said Mass for all of us that morning.
Lorenzo and Martino went down a few days after us and they visited the homes which need repair and the two homes which are being repaired.
In January our team will have a meeting evaluating how things are going. Sabah, her husband and daughter will hope to travel to see the rest of the family abroad and be away a month

Visit October 2018


My Gaza Visit in October
This time during my Gaza visit we centered on visiting two of the Kindergartens around the outskirts of Gaza city and also some families where we brought their monthly food bags to them.

The first Kindergarten which is called Hanna’s School we visited was one that had very poor possibilities and according to the sharing of the teachers, this meal is the only meal the children are able to eat during the day. There are about 100 children and they received their meal during our visit, the pictures speak for themselves. I have never seen children eating with such respect and dignity for their food. You could not hear one word during the meal. Even when the meal was distributed, each one waited its turn to get the meal, and it seems to me that the children were thinking and asking themselves in silence - will tomorrow have another meal? The Kindergarten class is very basic in this building, with no possibility for toys or material for the children, but the room is very clean and also the children were all clean. Their behavior was outstanding!

The schedule of food is that they receive food daily during kindergarten. Two times a week is a meal is with meat, once a week there is fruit and 2 times a week a sandwich of cheese or egg. Once a week the teacher can decide what they will give the children to eat and that depends on the money that is left for food during that week. So it could be another meal or it could be only a sandwich. 

The second kindergarten which is called the Musaddar School has 200 children and its place is within a development center and again it reminded me of my life in Egypt, when Caritas was giving health courses and doctors were checking the health of the children and of the village people. The people are helped to improve their daily life by education and awareness programs, yet many of their problems are solved among themselves. The people in Gaza are all educated and do not need to have programs for people to learn to read or to write as we would have had that challenge in each village of Egypt.


Visit September 2018

Visit September 4th. – Day Visit
I went down alone as our three members of our team were busy and I went for the day only. As usual Sabah met me at the border. We went immediately to Fawyeh’s School as it is very near the border. The children were being entertained by Mario the clown who is terrific with the children. We pay his transport and each day he goes to one of our schools. The children having been only four days in school they were a bit shy and adjusting. Most of the children are new in all our pre-schools as kindergarten is obligatory only for the 4 and 5 year olds. Few parents can afford to send the three year olds now due to the increases poverty.
The second school, Zahar School, which we visited is in the Sagyeh area a very poor section of Gaza City. Last year we encouraged the directress to try to registered more children as they had only 40 to 50. This year they have registered more; the problem is that there are many Hamas pre-schools in the area where the children get free uniforms, school bags, transportation and such which this Zahar School cannot afford. We were disappointed in the disorder we found there; the classrooms had not been prepared for the opening of the school. New teachers were hired as due to the low salaries last year’s teachers went to other pre-schools where they received a better salary.
We visited two families both in the same area, and both are very poor and we brought with us a bag of food for each family. This month we are able to provide 200 families with a bag of food containing 14 items. The first family are seven, their home was very clean and orderly despite hardly any furniture. The second family are six with a very disabled little girl of 3 and ½ years old who is very thin. They family was very dirty and they lived very closely with other families who also were dirty. The child needs special milk and therapy. We tried to open them up to having the child put with the Missionaries of Charity who can study her needs with a pediatrician and provide better care for her.
I finished the day with work in our office and a visit to Sr. Delfina to ask her to visit or to receive the family with the little girl who needs care. She agreed. I was also able to visit their new building which is great that will be for the chronically ill both men and women.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Visit August 2018

Visit August 14, 2018

Sr. Sandra went down for her third time to Gaza and Sr. Julianna went down for her first time, so we were three sisters who went for the day. Sabah meet as at the border and helped with the paper work to get one in who name wasn’t in the computer.
We went off first to visit two families in a very poor area of Gaza City, an area which was heavily shelled in the 2016 war. The first was a young mother of 7 children who had received food as the father was unemployed and there was no money for the basics like food. The home was clean and almost empty. The children are good looking children. Being off from school they were all at home. A woman organization will redo their bathroom for them as it has only a toilet and they need their kitchen redone also which is very small. The father is aggressive toward his wife and the children.
The second family of 8 were abandoned by the father. His two brothers try to support the family. One of these brothers live near and is married with one child. This family is also very poor. Again the home was clean, yet it has very few furnishings. They sit on mats on the floor which they sleep on at night.
Being it was Sr. Julianna’s first visit we showed her the little harbor and saw that one boat which was emptying its nets had caught very little fish. It is sardine season now. We also saw two cultural centers which had been destroyed recently; they were new and several stories high.
We went to our office again for the sisters to see for the first time and to drop off some clothing which we had brought with us. Then we visited Sabah’s home and saw her daughter and her two little children who are visiting for the first time in four years. They live abroad. The people are preparing for the Feast of Al Adhack the 21st of August which lasts several days.