Ziad became an orphan last year when an Israeli bomb struck his home and killed his entire family. The fear, shock and trauma is insurmountable for a child. Ziad was placed in an SOS village in Gaza where PACES has an active program. Despite Ziad’s initial reluctance, he gradually began participating in activities. Through the support, guidance and care provided, Ziad slowly began to be able to enjoy life as a child again, his behaviour normalised and he was able to reintegrate into the community. The PACES program helped Ziad overcome his trauma and resulting anti-social behavior and return to the energetic happy child he always was.
This year C4G has partnered with PACES, aiming to provide Palestinian children with an active escape vital for their development, Ziad was one such child.Show your support by signing up for this years cycle (Registration opens on the 1st of April) and by donating directly through https://www.justgiving.com/Cycling4Gaza-Team/
This year PACES will be taking four teams of girls and boys to participate in the Norway Cup (www.norwaycup.no) perfectly coinciding with the cycle. It will be a great opportunity for the cyclists to meet the PACES teams and to cheer them on as they play.
Members from the C4G team will be in Oslo from the 2nd of August – Join US before the cycle in support of the PACES teams!
Please email email@example.com for more details.
Cycling4Gaza is excited to announce that we will be partnering with PACES for the 2016 cycle, joining forces with an organisation that also uses sports as a means to make a difference.
PACES aims to provide opportunities to marginalized Palestinian girls and boys to play sports, flourish and grow in nurturing sanctuaries in order to empower them to become good and active citizens.
Snapshot – reached 7000 children, employed 636 coaches, set up 100 centers in 3 countries
This is Ibrahim and his brother, who live in Rafah, in the South of Gaza. They are both are receiving treatment from the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, and Ibrahim also attended the summer camps organised by the PCRF. They both tragically witnessed the death of their 16 year old brother from an Israeli bombing and sustained significant injuries as a result of the attack. Both boys suffer from intense symptoms of trauma, including bed wetting, nightmares, trembling and flashbacks. Their schools and home life were also significantly impacted by the event.
Over time, they have made various noticeable improvements since the initiation of the project. As Ibrahim said “step by step”. He is feeling more up beat and optimistic. His father was also extremely grateful to the PCRF for providing mental health support that his sons needed; and was also pleased with his son’s improvements.
Simply put, as Ibrahim said “step by step”; that is how real change can happen.
Cycling4Gaza and the PCRF joined forces this year for the launch of the Gaza mental healthcare project.
Here are a few snippits of information regarding the project:
- Check out the video below to get some insight on the project. Ghozlan, one of the children from the screening tells her story and her subsequent experience in the mental wellness summer camps in Gaza this summer.
- Dr Bahar Hashemi, a pediatric psychiatrist based in the U.S., visited Gaza in order to develop the Gaza Mental Health Project in collaboration with the PCRF, CMBM and C4G. A Few Words from Bahar: “These two miracles, Yamen and Janna were pulled out of the rubble after their three level family home collapsed last year killing 19 of their family members, including their entire immediate family. They are now living with their uncle’s family in central Gaza. Their uncles wife was so happy to talk about yamans experience at the mental wellness summer camps, saying it was like “magic.” bringing joy to him and lifting his mood. In addition to some of the most beautiful kindest souls, I have been blown away by some of the most incredible mothers I have come across here in Gaza. When one of Yamans cousins teased him about not coming out of his mothers womb, he went to his uncles wife and asked if this was true. She said to him, yes that’s true but you both came out of my heart, and that is all that matters.”
The valiant effort to heal ‘unimaginable’ levels of trauma among Gaza’s children – Annie Robbins, Mondoweiss – “As the devastation in Gaza continues unabated, teams of medical professionals work to combat the psychological impact on children raised in that densely populated and blockaded human laboratory. Many of those children have already lived through 3 major military offenses. I saw a photo today of some of those beautiful kids — visiting the graves of their fathers and brothers killed in Gaza during the summer slaughter of 2014 — and wondered how those kids were holding up.” Thank you Annie for continuing to draw awareness on the current situation in Gaza and the importance of providing support where we can.
The PCRF Team in Gaza continue to work with the children to help alleviate the symptoms of PTSD. The team are a lively, energetic group who are passionate about their work to heal children in the face of such big challenges. As you can imagine, the team members have endured and witnessed unimaginable amounts of trauma and suffering, which has a direct impact on them in varying ways. The need for self-care and support from one another cannot be understated. Here are a few testimonials about their experience in the groups:
“The skills provided me with serenity I’ve never felt before; meditation filled me with spirituality in my prayers, I felt like it was the first time I actually prayed!” – M.A.
“It was a great chance for us as PCRF staff to know each other, the iceberg between us is destroyed and we can communicate and work with a new positive spirit.” – M.F
“I’m pleased to be a part of such new, unique, and sophisticated training. I was able to discover my feelings. I’m ready to face problem and solve them. I needed this training; it helped me avoid negative thoughts and recharged me with cheerful thinking.” – A.G.
#C4G2015 is officially completed! Over 250km was covered, from Alkmaar to the Hague, despite severe weather, several injuries and slight altercations with the law. Thank you to our 45 passionate cyclists, our tour operator #Prostyle who made everything happen and our unwavering supporters. And of course the PCRF – Palestine Children’s Relief Fund who continue to develop projects that change the lives of children in Palestine on a daily basis. None of this would be possible without each and everyone of you!
To date we have raised 224,000 USD for the Gaza Children’s Mental Health Project, which aims at identifying and treating children with mental health disorders, most likely caused by dire environment they are continuously exposed to. This project is just the first step in creating the support system required to give these children a chance at a normal future.
Please continue to show your support!
Dear cyclists, friends, family and supporters,
It is hard to believe that we are only a few days away from our seventh Cycling4Gaza event. It was only 10 months ago that a group of 40 of us crossed the finish line at Capitol Hill in Washington DC to the warm (and loud) welcome of supporters.
CLICK HERE to read the rest of our latest Newsletter!
So, what is #cycling4gaza really like? It’s always hard to explain what happens during the 3 days we are on our bikes. This video from #C4G2014 sums it up. This just may be the most incredible #tbt you’ll come across today. Turn up the sound and here’s to #C4G2015!!!!!!
We owe a massive THANK YOU to Kareem Salman for his awesome video + camera work.
Meet Dr. Michael Absalon, Pediatric oncologist from the University of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital who recently completed his 2nd volunteer mission to The Huda Al Masri Pediatric Cancer Dept. in the West Bank as well as an evaluation trip for the new cancer center in Gaza.
This April, Palestine will formally become a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This means that last summer’s 50 day military offensive on the Gaza Strip (2,100 Palestinians killed, 500 of whom were children) will be subject to human rights crimes investigations.
In our commitment to the people of Gaza, who continue to live under an illegal blockade, we have chosen The Hague, the seat of the ICC, as our destination in 2015. We do this to stand in solidarity with Gaza’s Palestinians, and in particular with its children who deserve a fighting chance. #C4G2015 #cycling4gaza
So what country has more bikes than people, endless fields of tulips, 4,000km of canals and will host #C4G2015?
THE NETHERLANDS!!!!! SAVE THE DATE! July 24-26th, Amsterdam to The Hague, in support of PCRF – Palestine Children’s Relief Fund mental health program in Gaza.