In East Jerusalem, children in the Shufat refugee camp have limited space to grow and to be children in the camp’s population of 80,000. Residents of the camp are considered Jerusalem citizens; however, they must adhere to stringent checkpoint monitoring, invasive searches, long lines, and the humiliation that accompanies the metal cages surrounding the camp through which they must pass in order to get home.
Our partnership with the Women’s Center works to provide activities that improve the morale of children in Shufat, who suffer from environmental health conditions in addition to malnourishment. “…These children are not well and lack proper nutrients in order to grow,” stated Dr. Laila Al-Marayati, MD, a practicing physician and Chairperson of KinderUSA.
Families living in the camp struggle to put just one meal a day on the table. With the addition of the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable children face an even higher risk of malnourishment and nutrition-related diseases. According to a UNRWA report, the prevalence of stunted growth and anemia is 22% among schoolchildren.
Approximately 84% of children in the Shufat camp live below the poverty line. Our partner on the ground, the Women’s Center, is fortunate enough to have a compassionate project manager, Muhammed Mahareq, advocating for these children. This Ramadan, with the funding of KinderUSA, he and his volunteers are distributing over 230 food baskets to families in desperate need.
“It is one of the greatest challenges for children to be without food during the holy month of Ramadan,” Mahareq says. “We show them that they have a network of emotional support and care.”
Throughout the month of Ramadan, we are actively distributing fresh food to impoverished families in Gaza, East Jerusalem, and Lebanon. Pandemic-related lockdown measures have resulted in a disproportionately increased number of poverty-stricken families in these areas. Please consider making an online donation today, so you can help feed hungry children in Shufat and beyond.
Thank you to all of our generous donors who continue to make our mission a reality. Our work is impossible without you!