Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday appealed for an end to the 15 years-long Israeli blockades on the seaside territory. Gaza children unleased balloons and held banners.
Currently, due to this blockade, over two million people are cut off from the world. In June of 2007, Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip where the movement of people and goods was extremely restricted.
During this ongoing protest, children released balloons in the sky, an action symbolizing freedom.
They raised the Palestinian flag with pride and held the banners with slogans reading
“Save our Childhood.”
“We are the children of Palestine… we are the oppressed in our land.”
The UN General Assembly found the poverty rate from 2007 to 2017 increased from 40 to 56 per cent.
Most Gazans have no access to regular electricity, clean water, or functioning sewage and waste management systems.
The unemployment rate is 43 per cent, one o the highest rates in the world. And, close to 80 per cent of those that work earn less than minimum wage.
A speech by Ahmed Abu Askar, a Palestinian child, spoke the reality of what Gaza children are going through.
“Israeli crimes continue against the Gaza Strip, depriving us children of living a normal life,” Askar said.
“They blockaded us, besieged our lives, robbed us of our freedom, and deprived us of a comfortable life and our basic rights.”
Multiple studies this year alone stated that 9 out of 10 children in Gaza suffer from some form of conflict-related trauma.
In May more than 248 Palestinian were killed, 66 of whom were children, this number however is not exact, there have been many more that were not reported.
But in the month of May, Palestinians faced intense oppression and brutal force. Many buildings, schools, medical facilities, and media offices were destroyed.
This displaced more than 72,000 children and Palestinian families faced displacement from their own homes. This ongoing violence for years and in May alone has made many more Gaza children in serious need of mental health support.
The things children have witnessed have made them suffer from conflict-related trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The world needs to come together and continue to speak up. Please, use your profession to provide mental health services for Palestinians, if you have the means to do so.
How can you help?
Stand up for children’s rights and work to protect them. Get in touch with anyone that works in social services.
Partner with charities, organizations, media, and social workers supporting Palestinians.
Boycott brands to hold Israel accountable.
Research, learn, and most importantly listen. Share the voices of Palestinian children across social media, and tell their stories, their voices deserve to be recognized and shared. Every child has a dream and a story that they want others to listen to. Be that listener, know their names.
Most importantly donate, even if it a bit every month. Gaza only receives 4 hours of electricity a day, your donation can help a child study. You can sponsor a child too, even if it is for their education.
Some donations that are constantly needed are, baby hygiene kits, food vouchers, household water tanks, psychological support, rebuilding damaged facilities/buildings, providing education kits.
Save the Children has a Gaza Children in Crisis Fund.
Islamic Relief also has an Emergency Appeal for Gaza Fund.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency has an Emergency Gaza Appeal Fund.
Visit and support BDS movement website, to see how you can get involved.