Read All About It!

Zara Hannoun —  July 24, 2014 — 3 Comments

Cycling4Gaza is front news in The National!

www.thenational.ae/UAE/riders-needed-for-350km-us-cycle-trip-to-aid-gaza

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It is that time of year again, and Cycling4Gaza is gearing up for its next challenge. As many of you know, we have organised five cycles since 2009, covering over 1800km across the UK and France, Italy, Jordan, Turkey and Germany, with a sixth cycle just around the corner. We have raised over 650,000 GBP in support of healthcare and education projects in the Gaza Strip and in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Together with our wonderful charity partners, we have directly impacted the lives of over 8,000 children in projects focused on early childhood education, mental health support and psychosocial work, rehabilitation for children with disabilities, and maternal and child healthcare. Your passion and support continue to give us the inspiration we need to make a positive difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable Palestinians.

This year, we are aiming to increase the amount we have raised by a further 150,000 GBP in order to continue to support the PCRF’s worthwhile project and ensure that as many children as possible receive the care and support they need.

You can be a part of this effort. Join us on our upcoming cycle! The 2014 cycling challenge is taking place in the US; we will be cycling over 300km from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. from the 18th to the 21st of September. All you need to do is check out the registration pack (Cycling4Gaza 2014 Registration Pack) for all the relevant details about the cycle, fill in the required sections and email it back to zhannoun@gmail.com before the 23rd of July 2014! Dont forget to send the required documents and deposit too!

Looking forward to seeing you in the US!

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Dearest friends and supporters,

It is that time of year again, and Cycling4Gaza is gearing up for its next challenge. As many of you know, we have organised five cycles since 2009, covering over 1800km across the UK and France, Italy, Jordan, Turkey and Germany, with a sixth cycle just around the corner. We have raised over 650,000 GBP in support of healthcare and education projects in the Gaza Strip and in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Together with our wonderful charity partners, we have directly impacted the lives of over 8,000 children in projects focused on early childhood education, mental health support and psychosocial work, rehabilitation for children with disabilities, and maternal and child healthcare. Your passion and support continue to give us the inspiration we need to make a positive difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable Palestinians.

The Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) is one such charity partner that has worked tirelessly to implement healthcare projects across the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. The PCRF, a non-profit, non-political medical relief organisation, was founded in 1991 by concerned people who were looking for ways to contribute to the humanitarian needs of children under Israeli military occupation.  Over the past twenty-two years, the PCRF has treated 10,000 children through direct surgery carried out by hundreds of visiting teams of doctors and specialists from all over the world. The PCRF has also sent over 1,000 children from Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq for free surgery in North and South America, Europe, Asia and other parts of the Middle East.

In 2013, the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund launched the REACH (Reaching Every Affected Child in Gaza) Gaza Project in partnership with us. The long-term aim of the REACH project is to support every child in need of serious medical care in the Gaza Strip. Last year, together with our 39 cyclists, and thanks to the commitment of our supporters, friends and families, we raised over 150,000 GBP which supported the treatment and care of 270 children through the REACH project. The funds raised will continue to treat more children throughout 2014.

Khalid Shorab, a two year old living in the Khan Younis refugee camp, is one of those children. He was treated as the first case by a visiting team of doctors from France, led by Dr. Dominique Metras, a long-time PCRF volunteer. Khaled suffered from a congenital defect known as atrial septal defect (ASD); more commonly known as a hole in his heart. The defect prevents normal blood flow through Khalid’s heart leading to reduced oxygen levels within the blood, and affects his brain and other organs. Like most families living in Gaza, Khalid’s family did not have the means to find medical care for him, neither through local private hospitals nor hospitals outside Gaza. Khalid was operated on by Dr Metras and his team on January the 18th of this year, and has now fully recovered. He is one of the 11 children treated by Dr. Metras and his team. Clearly, there are many other children in the Gaza Strip who do not receive such support, and it is our mission, with the PCRF, to reach as many of them as possible.

This year, we are aiming to increase the amount we have raised by a further 150,000 GBP in order to continue to support the PCRF’s worthwhile project and ensure that as many children as possible receive the care and support they need.

You can be a part of this effort. Join us on our upcoming cycle! The 2014 cycling challenge is taking place in the US; we will be cycling over 300km from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. this September. In the registration pack (Cycling4Gaza 2014 Registration Pack) you can find detailed information on the 2014 cycling challenge, the route, the registration procedure, FAQ’s, the PCRF and the REACH Gaza project we are supporting. If you are unable to join, or if sitting on a saddle for 7 hours a day is simply not your thing, you can still support us by helping to spread the word; and by visiting www.pcrf.net/cycling4gaza if you would like to make a contribution. 100% of all donations go directly to the PCRF REACH project in Gaza.

To help us spread the word on social media, please visit:

www.facebook.com/cycling4gaza

Twitter and Instagram – @cycling4gaza

Thank you again and we hope to see many of you soon!

Warmest regards,

The Cycling4Gaza team

Zara Hannoun, Miral Alaraj, Tala Fahoum and Tamara Ben Halim

Steve Sosebee, founder of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF), talks about the REACH Gaza project:

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The partnership between the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund and Cycling4Gaza has resulted in a new era of healthcare services being provided to the 1.7 million Palestinians living under siege in the Gaza Strip.  In 2012, before the relationship with the PCRF and Cycling4Gaza, there were 18 volunteer surgery teams that went to Gaza through the PCRF. In 2013, we more than doubled the number of medical missions to Gaza, thanks to the support and assistance of Cycling4Gaza through the REACH Gaza, Reaching Every Affected Child in Gaza, project. In addition, in April 2013 we started a new project in Gaza to build up the pediatric cardiac surgery services for children born with heart disease. This project aims to identify sick babies and provide them the life-saving surgery that they need, but which is not available to them locally, as well as to train the local doctors and nurses as a way to upgrade the quality of care in Gaza.

In 2013, with the support and cooperation of Cycling4Gaza, the PCRF provided 630 children in Gaza major surgery in cardiac and cardiology, neurosurgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, urological surgery, hand and orthopedic surgery and general pediatric surgery. We sponsor missions from all over the world to volunteer their time and experience to come into Gaza and operate on children locally.  In 2013, we sponsored teams from the USA, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France and Belgium to Gaza. In addition, we are providing children with a variety of specific medical needs sponsorship for care locally, such as hearing aids, wheelchairs, eyeglasses and other support that their families are too poor to provide for them.

The results of the relationship between the PCRF and Cycling4Gaza has been one in which thousands of children in Gaza are getting direct humanitarian and medical support that they otherwise would not have access to. We are grateful to the hard work and dedication of the Cycling4Gaza volunteers to make this project successful and we hope that we can continue to partner for the sake of more children in besieged Gaza. Until the siege is lifted and children have access to quality medical care, we will continue to do our best to bring support and care to them directly.

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Al Madad Foundation

Zara Hannoun —  February 2, 2014 — Leave a comment

Joint Logos

Cycling4Gaza is collaborating with the Al Madad Foundation, based in London, to help expand our reach to make a difference around the globe.

The Al Madad foundation was founded in 2001 in an effort to support educational based projects for disadvantaged children across the Middle East.

Check out their website for more details:

http://www.almadadfoundation.org/

The Al Madad Foundation are currently hosting a cycling event on the 17th of May – a 67 mile journey from London to Oxford (with a lunch break of course). For more details on the cycle event and how to sign up check out:

http://almadadfoundation.org/cycle4schooling.html

Share this post with your friends and family based in the UK!

Lets all come together to help make a positive impact wherever we can!

Check out our first newsletter of 2014!

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This issues includes:

- A video from Steve Sosebee, the President and CEO of the PCRF

- A word from Tamara Ben Halim, Cycling4Gaza’s co-founder

- A story from Rami Zughayer, our first Palestinian cyclist from the West Bank, about the Germany cycle

- Updates on the REACH Gaza project from Zara Hannoun, lead organiser for Cycling4Gaza

Cycling4Gaza is currently looking for 10 passionate active individuals (anywhere in the world) to plan one event each in 2014 in support of Cycling4Gaza’s REACH Gaza project to raise funds or awareness or even better both.

Let us each help to make a difference, email me directly on zhannoun@gmail.com

Cant wait to hear from you!

Dear friends,

Happy new year. I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know where Cycling4Gaza is at during this exciting time, what we have achieved in the past year, and where we are headed in 2014.In 2013, Cycling4Gaza:

  • Identified a pioneering Gaza healthcare project run by the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) and built a meaningful partnership with the PCRF
  • Raised over $215,000 for the PCRF’s REACH Gaza project
  • Organised and successfully completed its fifth cycling challenge through Germany with 39 people taking part, expanding its total number of people recruited and mobilised through cycling to 119
  • Reached thousands of people around the world through media coverage in various publications such as MBCThis Week in PalestineBarakabits, and Dubai Eye

Our  400km challenge from Hamburg to Berlin in September 2013 culminated at the gates to the Berlin Wall, with smiling faces and aching muscles. You can read more about the challenge from one of our cyclists, Rami Zughayar (scroll down).The openness of Berlin, a city with a complex history, the lack of walls, barriers, obstacles, served as a bittersweet reminder of what can be achieved, and of what yet needs to be achieved in Palestine, where a graffiti-covered wall painfully similar to that of the former wall that stood in the heart of Berlin, still stands today.A couple of the cyclists this year asked me “why Cycling4Gaza? Why not Cycling4Palestine?” Why Cycling4Gaza? Because, as far as we can see, Gaza needs it the most. Palestinians who live in the Gaza Strip have been made increasingly isolated from the world, and indeed from the rest of Palestine, so that families are constantly torn apart, and the Palestinian community has become entirely fragmented, with no sense of a whole.  And while the tide slowly turns and the international community begins to come round to the struggle of the Palestinians, while we are starting to hear the other side of the story that was neglected for so long, the story of Gaza remains left behind. The faces of Palestinians in Gaza, of human beings, are rarely ever seen, their voices rarely heard. So this is why we are cycling for Gaza. It is our job to build on Cycling4Gaza as a space that brings this story to life, that gives a different face to the misunderstood place that is the Gaza Strip. It is our job to continue doing something positive in Gaza’s name, to continue working on education and healthcare, to continue cycling and supporting Gaza’s most vulnerable and marginalised, to continue giving people all over the world an opportunity to be involved and make a positive contribution.Over the next couple of years we hope that our work will expand to include creating stronger ties with the Palestinian community in Gaza, directly involving them in our efforts and trying to find ways for more Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to cycle with us. It will expand to include outreach work that informs and educates people on the situation of the siege on Gaza, and it will continue to support sustainable social projects in the region through the mobilisation of volunteers and cyclists around the world.We are a small team of volunteers with big hopes. Alone we cannot achieve our ambitious goals. Your support has taken us this far, and we hope it will take us further and help to kickstart a promising 2014. Right now, through a few simple clicks, you can help us to expand our reach and grow our efforts:1. You can forward this newsletter on to ten friends who know nothing about Cycling4Gaza, better yet who know nothing about Gaza.

Encourage them to:
- Sign up to our mailing list (website)
- Join our Facebook page
- Follow us on Twitter

(And make sure you do the same!)

2. You can share our latest press release with your media contacts. The more we can talk publicly about Gaza the more people will hear us and the closer we are to our goal of informing and educating as many people as we can about the situation in the Gaza Strip.

Finally, if you would still like to donate, you can do so here: www.pcrf.net/cycling4gaza

I hope you enjoy the rest of this newsletter. I would like to thank you all once more for your incredible support, the cyclists for their superhuman efforts and achievements, the PCRF for their invaluable work in the Gaza Strip and Palestine at large and for the partnership they have fostered with us, our corporate sponsors for their generous support, and finally the Cycling4Gaza 2013 committee who worked tirelessly to make this another successful year. They are: Zara Hannoun, Mohammed Tahboub, Tala Fahoum, Natasha Hannoun and Tabrez Ahmad.

Stay tuned for updates as we get the ball rolling in 2014!

Warmest regards,
Tamara

 

“I was super glad to know that Cycling4Gaza exists. It gave me happiness and hope, happiness for knowing that there are people out there supporting the cause, and hope for realizing that I can join the C4G team and be part of the support for my people.”

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Congrats everybody, the C4G 2013 cycling challenge was an unforgettable event! Our progress matched the plan perfectly; every one of the brave cyclists travelled the distance of 350 – 410 km by bike, and we collected a total fundraising amount that has almost reached the target amount of $230,000!It is my first time on a Cycling4Gaza challenge and it really feels so good to be part of an international team of about 40 enthusiastic caring friendly heroic cyclists who have flown from their countries to gather in Germany, participate in the cycling challenge, and take action in the support of Palestinian children. This blend of sport-and-cause charged us during the cycle with energy and good moods and made us go beyond our limits!I found out about C4G in 2012 via a Facebook post, a couple of days before the 2012 cycling challenge which took place in Turkey. I admired the idea and was not lucky enough to join them then, it was too late already. By that time the situation was quite difficult in my country Palestine, there was an Israeli military attack on Gaza and I was feeling sad, tense and useless. Because a war on my people was taking place only 100 km away from me and I could do nothing about it! Not forgetting that Palestinians living in/out of the West-Bank or Jerusalem have no access to Gaza, and cannot support the people in need over there. So I was super glad to know that Cycling4Gaza exists. It gave me happiness and hope even if I couldn’t register that year, happiness for knowing that there are people out there supporting the cause, and hope for realizing the opportunity that I can join the C4G team and be part of the support to my people.Finally after waiting a year I registered for C4G 2013, and joined the team. I want to thank Mohammed Tahboub, Zara Hannoun, Tamara Ben-Halim and all who volunteered by working hard, in their own time, for planning and managing this event. The C4G 2013 was a real success, even though it was relatively big regarding the number of participants and cycle distance!  On the morning of the 19th of September, after preparing ourselves, stretching, filling up supplies and getting ready, we started our cycling challenge as one big group. The scenery on both sides of the road was naturally beautiful, we cycled in pairs most of the time and the cyclists were friendly and cheerful. We were a little bit unfortunate to have a few strong rain drops in the first and second days but the blend of sport-and-cause charged all of us with positive energy that kept us going relentlessly. I felt that this group of cyclists was a family of mine, the common blend we all had strengthened the bonds between us so fast and I made magical quick friendships that could really last forever.

This challenge was a one of a kind experience for me, I was so pleased to see people from all around the world participating in the C4G event, collecting funds, raising awareness and cycling for the cause of Palestine. This is something I never take for granted, and I will always remember all the cyclists, the special musketeers that give me hope. I am not an athlete, I am a sport lover with a random practice of cycling, I thought that I would not be able to do the 410 km because I was never trained to such distance, but with the company of the C4G musketeers it gets easier and easier, the smiles, spirits and wonderful participants are charged with enthusiasm and love, and this is the real engine that made us move and accomplish our target.

Thank you all, see you in C4G 2014!

With love,
Rami Zughayar

 

A snapshot of Cycling4Gaza‘s Work over the last 5 years.

None of this would be possible without our wonderful partners; the PCRF, Welfare Association and MAP UK, our amazing supporters and our fearless cyclists!

Thank you all for your contribution and playing a significant part in improving the healthcare and education available for children in Gaza.

Your are all truly inspiring!

C4G Infographic

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The video above (click to open) highlights the past two volunteer medical missions in Gaza that have provided cardiac and orthopedic care to children. The first medical team from Italy treated 8 children with congenital heart diseases and the second medical team from Chili focused on treating children with orthopedic related defects. Both teams have successfully completed their surgical missions.

Your support has helped launch the REACH Gaza project and will allow the project to move forward over the coming months through additional volunteer medical missions entering into Gaza and providing vital medical attention to children that require care.

To continue supporting this wonderful cause please:

- Share: Help us raise awareness by sharing our posts on Facebook, Twitter, Email..etc
- Donate
- Volunteer: Contribute directly on the ground or through various activities. Email us on info@cycling4gaza.com to sign up
- Follow: @Cycling4Gaza on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- Hashtag: #Cycling4Gaza#thePCRF#REACHGaza#C4G2013 on any information you feel is relevant

Directly from Gaza

Zara Hannoun —  October 20, 2013 — Leave a comment

A word from Steve Sosebee, President and CEO of the PCRF, on the impact of Cycling4Gaza and our supporters on the current medical missions in Gaza as part of the REACH Gaza project.

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We appreciate all your efforts and grateful for your continued support.

 

Thanks to ALL your efforts; the REACH Gaza project has officially been launched! Cycling4Gaza has helped pioneer the REACH Gaza project with the PCRF; supporting the provision of health care to children living in Gaza.

The first surgical team arrived in Gaza on the 6th of October 2013 from Italy to initiate a 10 day mission to treat children with congenital heart diseases.

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This mission highlights the first step towards achieving a more sustainable healthcare system in Gaza. Let us continue to support the wonderful actions of the volunteer medial teams and the PCRF for creating an efficient model for providing vital medical care for children that need it.

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The medical team is comprised of nine-members team of doctors and nurses from Italy, supported by a great local anesthesiologist from Palestine, is led by Dr. Stefano Luisi, the team includes Palestinian anesthesiologist Dr. Hassan Ismail, intensivist/anesthesiologist Dr. Paolo del Sarto, intesivists Dr. Piergiorgio Setti, Dr. Simonetta Maghelli and Dr. Alessandra Napoleone, perfusionist Marco Tiddia, nurse Giuseppina Dolfi and surgeon Dr. Corrado Tramontin. Once the team set up in the European Gaza Hospital, pre-surgery screening procedures were conducted on 8 children.

The team has successfully operated on three children, to date, on the 7th and 8th of October 2013; Mohammed Ahmed – 11 days old from Rafah, who suffered from the coarctation of aorta and two children suffering from ventricular septal defects (VSD) including 10 month old Ahmed Abu Daqqa from Khan Younis. The children are all recovering well.

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The project was only made possible thanks to the wonderful efforts of the volunteer doctors, nurses and surgical team members on the ground in Gaza, the PCRF for creating the platform to do this and Cycling4Gaza supporters and cyclists for their unwavering contribution to our cause.

How you can help:

  • Share: Help us raise awareness by sharing our posts on Facebook, Twitter, Email..etc
  • Donate
  • Volunteer: Contribute directly on the ground or through various activities. Email us on info@cycling4gaza.com to sign up
  • Follow: @Cycling4Gaza on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • Hashtag: #Cycling4Gaza, #thePCRF, #REACHGaza, #C4G2013 on any information you feel is relevant
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Team Arrival in Berlin Airport – Let the Journey Begin

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Day 1 – Cycling off from Hamburg onto Wismar

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Day 1 – Pit Stop for a Photo Op

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Day 2 – Wismar to Muritz, the Cyclists are feeling the pain of endurance cycling – plus that sign should say Day 2 (that’s what you get for 6 am wake ups)

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Day 2 – Cycling in the Rain, ain’t nothing like it

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Day 3 – Group formation looking good, posing for the camera

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Day 3 – Last 30 km to go, pit stop to pick up friends and family to cycle with us into Berlin

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Day 3 – Arrival at the Brandenburg Tor, woo woo!

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Day 3 – Photo Op with the VIPs

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Day 3 – Team C4G and Prostyle, could not have done it without you

We would like to thank ICON, a young energetic consulting company, for supporting a project which will alleviate the suffering of thousands of children in Gaza. ICON’s Silver sponsorship of the 2013 Cycling Challenge will be used for the REACH Gaza project in partnership with the PCRF; providing children in Gaza with the required medical aid they require.

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A brief note on ICON and its Founder:

ICON is a management consulting firm and a leading advisor on business performance and strategy. Identifying potential and helping our clients deliver high performance is ICON’s specialty.  ICON is no ordinary Management Consultancy. Our team is made up of business leaders, experts, and top-tier practitioners who have personally designed and implemented, tried and tested the solutions we offer.

The comprehensive services of ICON are designed to ‘jump start’ businesses and corporations into delivering high performance.  From Consulting, to Training, to Coaching, each service line builds our clients’ capabilities and increases their bench strength and competitive edge.

ICON’s profound understanding of industry, business and professional needs is built on a foundation of 250 years combined experience in our different fields of practice. Strong roots in the Gulf and wider Middle East – allied to a global ‘think tank’ of industry expertise – puts the best regional and international brains at our client’s disposal.

Principle and founder of ICON, Salma Sakhnini graduated with an MBA from Yale University and holds the Master License for 360 Solutions for the GCC and is a Certified Executive Coach. In addition to ICON, Salma also founded and managed an industrial manufacturing business. She previously held a number of senior leadership positions including, working as Vice President with Citibank and as Chief Operating Officer with Rasmala Investments.

Salma is renowned for being the ‘Strategist for Success’ and is an active member of the community.  She consults for the public sector in the Gulf Region – actively working with and coaching reform and strategy teams – and has lectured at the American University of Dubai. She is a speaker at various regional and international conferences and held executive workshops on numerous topics including Leadership, Delivering Performance, Quality, and Six Sigma.  She has served as a “Judge” on the Dubai Quality Award and is a member of several Advisory Boards in the region.