Ibrahim, 17 years old, lives in the densely populated Ein el-Hilweh Camp in Saida, the largest camp population in Lebanon. His parents are originally from Ṭabariyyah or Tiberias, but fled in 1948 after the occupation and have lived in the camp since that time.
Having dropped out of UNRWA school, Ibrahim enrolled in KinderUSA funded school, Social Development Center, in Ein el-Hilweh camp. After 2 years, Ibrahim sought to pursue a vocational degree in order to begin working and making money to assist his family who survive on monthly stipends received from the refugee program.
After one year, Ibrahim completed the certification for General Electricity and once he completes the remaining term of his education, he can start working as an apprentice with the goal of becoming a journeyman and having his own business one day.
Five year old Lina lives with her 9 member family on the border in Rafah, one of the poorest and most dangerous areas to live in the Gaza due to the tunnels. All the children in the family suffer from malnourishment and all exhibit signs of stunting and rickets in addition to post traumatic stress disorder, a consequence of the repeated wars and cross border fighting.
Lina is a beneficiary of the nutritional meals program KinderUSA sponsors at her kindergarten. Since the program began, Lina’s weight has increased since the beginning of the semester and she has become more active and participatory in the classroom. Her mother, Heba, noted that Lina now looks forward to going to school and comes home “happy and talks about her day.” Often, she has taken some of her food home to share with her siblings who do not benefit from the program at their schools.
“You cannot imagine to what extent the happiness I feel while seeing my children play with live chickens, especially that we didn’t eat chicken since a year ago. Many thanks to Kinder- USA for this fresh food and my appreciation for this program. This Ramadan, I will not run to get some food from the neighbors or to the shops for a loan for food. The food made my family more secure. Please remember us always and all the people who suffer as we do.”