Due to the blockade of the Gaza Strip, free movement of people and goods has been restricted for 11 years. Industries are devastated and resources are lacking. Gazans are facing severe poverty, with children suffering from serious malnutrition. The illegal separation wall and Israeli settlements divide the communities on the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, disrupting people’s access to health, education, and work. Because of the discriminatory social structure of the occupation as well as continuous violence of the Israeli authorities and settlers, youth are unable to anticipate a bright future. A large number of students drop out of school and lose connections in the community.
Preventing malnutrition of children (Gaza Strip)
Together with local women volunteers and staff from the local NGO “Ard El Insan” (AEI), and in partnership with UNICEF, JVC has conducted nutrition and health education programs, as well as health checks and development checks for children in Maghazi and Bureij refugee camps in the Middle Area of Gaza. Thirty volunteers who have completed training to become health advisors conducted home visits to families that have pregnant women or children under five-years old and provided them with individual counseling as well as nutrition and cooking lessons.
This year was the first year of the program. We supported approximately 1,600 women and 1,500 children. During the children’s health check, we found approximately 330 cases of lowweight, 400 cases of emaciation, 310 cases of development failure, and 80 cases of anemia. After the follow-up programs, approximately 76% found improvement. Volunteers who have completed training programs are now conducting home visits, holding awareness sessions, and enriching their knowledge and skills.
Increasing youth resilience and improving community health
JVC works with the local NGO “Medical Relief Society” to increase resilience, which is the ability to bounce back in the face of violence and hardships. We trained the members of student health committees in nineteen secondary schools, and supported the planning and implementing of community projects to tackle health and hygiene problems together with local residents.
Nineteen projects have been implemented, including tree-planting, installation of garbage bins, and maintenance and improvement of safety measures in school facilities, such as covering electrical wires. There are 329 members in the student health committees, who work together with the parents and adults of the community.
Advocacy to address the occupation as the root cause
In order to raise questions and awareness about Israel’s policies of military occupation and humanrights violation, JVC is striving to make Palestinian voices heard. We are also taking action to appeal to the Japanese government and the international community to take steps towards ending the occupation and blockade.
JVC collected comments and opinions from Palestinian people regarding US President Trump’s decisions to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, move the American embassy to Jerusalem, and cut off more than half the US funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The comments were introduced to the public through media and events. In addition, we expressed our agreement with the statements announced by AIDA, a network consisted of 80 NGOs operating in Palestine, and translated the condemnation statements into Japanese.
[Source: JVC Annual Report 2017]Share This: