Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Visit February 22 and 23

(See below the report in French) Four of us went to down and for Br. Peter Bray of Bethlehem University, it was his first visit. In the morning we visited two of our schools that of El Amjad and Zahar. We found the children studying in groups. In one school we announced that they must teach the children in two shifts due to lack of space. The same teachers teach both groups of children. This must be exhausting. Nice meals were being given to the children. Both schools had been newly painted. Other renovations were appreciated by our group. After we visited four kitchens where the women's centers had grants to start catering delicious meals. We were able to sample their delicacies and left feeling a kilo heavier and ready to take a nap. In the afternoon I filled out forms on the individuals who we had provided money for surgeries or transportation for those who needed surgeries in Gaza or abroad. An artificial leg was purchased for one man.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Trip to Gaza February 11th.

We were seven this time: Andres Bergamini, Lorenzo Ravasini, their friend Alexander, Fr. Don Moore, Br. Joe Loewenstein, and Fr. Thomas Bahmer and Sr. Susan Sheehan.

We joined Sabah at one of the women's centers where we had two meetings. The first was with representatives from our five schools. They had questions about what we had agreed to help them with such as renovations and materials needed for the children. They shared about their inability to pay their teachers as the children's parents cannot pay the monthly fees, nor the transportation. We will discuss this at our next meeting. They also said now that the food is so expensive that several of the schools cannot feed the children but three times a week. This is also to be studied; perhaps they need more money monthly for food. We broke for lunch and were served a delicious meal made there by three women who cook and bake as a catering service. We had ordered this meal and paid for it in order to sponsor this new initiative of the women.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Visit January 31, 2010

Lorenzo, Andres and I, Sr Susan, accompanied two friends of the Western Lieutenancy of the Knight of the Holy Sepulcher, Chuck and Eleanor Radloff who have wanted to go to Gaza. This was the only day possible for them to visit. Before Mass we were able to visit the areas heavily shelled, mainly the industrialized area. We could see where some factories remained must as they were after the war and others that were being rebuilt. Men and boys with donkey carts were busy clearing and hauling away debris from the ruins. Others were straightening the tangled iron rein reinforment rods, working in twos. We are told that they are paid 15 shekels or $3.30 a day to do these jobs. We wondered how families manage to eat daily with such limited income.