It has been almost a week since I have arrived in Gaza, and I soon learned that electricity is a luxury. Basically, Gaza has been split up into different areas with electricity distributed between them. I have been to Gaza a couple of times before, but this time around it is a bit different. There have been a lot of things I have had to get used to, from lack of electricity to limited Internet connectivity to experiencing a bit of a culture shock.
On a lighter note, today I finally had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Yusuf Owadalla, the head of the Union of Health Work Committees. UHWC is a nongovernmental grass-roots organization that provides comprehensive health services through a developmental community and social framework to all sectors of the Palestinian people, especially the marginalized ones (women and children). They have partnered with international organizations such as UNICEF, UNRWA and YMCA.
At the end of the meeting with Dr. Owadalla, I went on a tour with one of the members of UHWC to their facility in Jabalia Camp (a Palestinian refugee camp north of Gaza City) called Assri Center Summer Camp. This facility serves underprivileged children in the refugee camp and works to help them overcome and accept psychological problems caused by previous wars through art, dance, film, and folklore.
At the Assri Center, I was introduced to the children I would be helping and spending every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with. At the end of my tour, I was ready to volunteer and eager to learn from the children attending the Assri Center Summer Camp.
Can’t wait to start volunteering on Saturday!