The Running Refugees

We continue our 30 days 30 stories from the ground of Gaza

Skeletons of buildings in Gaza seven months after Operation Protective Edge. Credit: Laura Dean, article is sourced from The World.

“In Gaza, Destruction has Become Part of the Landscape.”

GAZA CITY — Seven months on, Gaza looks much as it did just after Operation Protective Edge, which left more than 2,000 Palestinians dead and the small territory covered in 2.5 million tons of rubble. The destruction has become part of the landscape. People move around, over and through it without a second glance.

Over 100,000 people are still homeless and less than 5 percent of the $5.4 billion dollars pledged in aid has reached the Strip. At the end of January, after a shortfall of $585 million, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees had to stop providing rent subsidies to Gazans who had lost their homes as well as assistance to families whose homes are in need of minor repairs. These cuts affect around 80,000 Gazans and may mean that some families have to move back into UNRWA schools where some 10,000 displaced persons are still living.

Homelessness is exacerbating the difficulties facing already struggling families. In the absence of formal assistance, people are trying to mend their homes as best they can.

But the deepest wounds wrought by the offensive are those you can’t see and will persist long after homes have been rebuilt and life has returned to what passes for normal in Gaza. Over 400,000 children are in need of psychosocial support following the offensive. The majority of children in Gaza exhibit symptoms of PTSD and the repeated trauma that stems from waves of bombardment, combined with inconsistent access to care, reduce the chances that they will ever recover.

The Refugee Life Foundation, along with our Charity Partner the Hanan Refugee Relief Group, are proud to present 30 days/30 Homes Virtual 5k Run or Walk during the Holy Month of Ramadan. Thousands of homes in Gaza are severely lacking basic living standards leaving many families without access to clean water, electricity, and plumbing.  Participants have the option to Run or Walk 3.1 miles, or complete a 30 mile walk or run challenge during Ramadan from April 14 Through May 15th, 2021.