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.