Protecting Children’s Health in Blockaded Gaza Support for improved nutrition for children (Gaza) / Health Assistance in the Separated Area by the Wall School and community health assistance (East Jerusalem)

Program background

In the Gaza Strip, even following the ceasefire, restrictions on the passage of people and supplies have continued; local industry remains destroyed and a serious shortage of materials prevents reconstruction. Inhabitants suffer from serious poverty and malnutrition in children is an urgent concern. The continued construction of the illegal “Separation / Apartheid Wall” and settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, divides areas and limits access to medical services, education, and employment. Since October 2015, there has been an increase in the number of offensive prosecutions and killings of Palestinians by the Israeli Army in reaction to some cases of Palestinian youth committing acts of violence against Israeli citizens.


Doing a seminar about nutrition at a house in Gaza Strip

In the Gaza Strip, recovery from the Gaza War in 2014 is progressing, but the negative impacts of the war still strongly remain in the area. Currently 90,000 people are living as refugees, and water pollution and a lack of electricity are contributing to a dire situation. Also, 80 percent of people depend on some form of international aid.

JVC started their activities in the Gaza Strip in 2003, aiming for a society in which Palestinians can protect their livelihood on their own. To protect children’s health, we focus on nutrition/health education which enables the residents themselves to improve the nutritional status of the children,who are the ones most easily impacted by the blockade and military confrontations.

Doing a seminar about nutrition at a kindergarten in Gaza Strip

We implemented a project with the local NGO “Ard El Insan” and 30 female volunteers in Bir Alnaja’, Jabalia City, providing training to volunteers, health education to expectant mothers, and health check-ups for children. The trained volunteers gained expert knowledge on nutrition and communication skills, conducting activities such as home visits to expectant and nursing mothers, while also providing counseling and demonstrating how to cook nutrition-rich food. In total, 5,800 women and 1,800 children directly benefited from our support in 2014.

We provided health education to 11,000 children from 47 schools and 19 kindergartens, in cooperation with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS).

An emergency youth team rushing to collision scenes in East Jerusarem

Health committees have been newly established in five schools, with 190 students, including seven schools which have been already built, conducted health related activities more than 200 times in their schools. The teachers and the members of the committee have taken the initiative in keeping their schools clean, spreading awareness among students and parents, treating others’ injuries, monitoring hygiene, and following up on problems found in health check-ups.

We also provided health check-ups to 2,700 children and first aid training to 150 youths. Around 190 youth who learned first aid made 15 teams and have become volunteer first aiders in each area. Additionally, we provided health education and health check-ups to 2,600 residents of communities isolated from other parts of the West Bank by the construction of the “Separation / Apartheid Wall” and settlements.

School Health Comittee members voluntarily cleaning up their school in East Jerusarem

(source: “JVC Annual Report – 2015 report”)

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