Since 2009, Cycling4Gaza has positively impacted the lives of 5,000 children and 3,000 family members and individuals in the community through projects working in maternal and children’s health, mental and physical disability, psychological care and children’s education.
In 2009, we supported three emergency medical relief projects with MAP UK in response to the 2008-2009 military offensive on Gaza:
•The Emergency Maternal and New-born Healthcare project ensured the safety of mothers and babies through creating an integrated emergency procedure and building the capacity and skills of the staff.
•The Specialist Burns Care training project trained staff to respond to emergency cases and upgraded the ground facilities for the project to function more effectively.
•The Train the Trainers in Primary Care project provided members of the community with skills and knowledge that allowed them to act as effective first responders to give critical first aid intervention within the golden hour of patient injury.
In 2010, in response to the limited care available for children with disabilities, we supported Early Childhood Development in Gaza through the Welfare Association:
•The School-based Counselling program established an effective support system for 632 children suffering from trauma by setting up counselling units in schools and organising summer camps. The project trained 66 counsellors and provided awareness-raising sessions for over 400 parents and teachers.
•The Home-based Early Intervention Outreach project for deaf children successfully conducted 5,780 education and psychological sessions for 53 children and 265 family members. 85% of the children showed significant improvement in communication, cognitive abilities and speech acquisition levels at the end of the project.
•The Support for Early Childhood Development project at the Kanafani Kindergartens provided academic scholarships for 70 children, refurbished 2 kindergarten facilities, and provided school materials for 275 children. 144 physiological support sessions were held for children who suffer from mental disabilities.
In 2011, we focused on five projects aimed at improving the lives of children with disabilities in Gaza:
•The Friendly Learning project successfully reintegrated 35 children with disabilities into the mainstream school system and significantly improved the attendance (reduction in 50% of absences) and performance of 30 % of children within the school.
•The Community-based Rehabilitation project delivered 2680 physiotherapy and occupational therapy sessions to 75 children and reached out to 893 individuals in the community through public awareness sessions.
•The School-based Counselling program continued to improve the lives of 1,033 children, continuing on from 2010.
•Through the Al Wefaq Relief and Development Society project, 4559 children received hearing and eye examinations and 1524 children were provided with eyeglasses or hearing aids as a result.
•The Society for the Care of the Handicapped in the Gaza Strip developed an integrated educational programme for children with special needs, reaching 201 children. Over 64% of the children showed improvement in their cognitive skills and mental abilities at the end of the project.
In 2012, we directed our efforts towards maternal care and primary trauma care both in the Gaza Strip and in Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps:
•The Primary Trauma Care training project in Gaza is working to strengthen doctors’ capacity to save lives by responding to trauma and injury, especially in conditions of large-scale emergency.
•The Maternal and Child Healthcare (MCH) projects in Gaza and Lebanon are providing accessible and effective post and pre natal care for over 5,000 patients through the provision of services to expectant mothers and through the training and support of health staff on the ground in order to widen the reach of the project.
An independent evaluation of the MCH project in Lebanon highlighted the uniqueness of MAP’s model in bringing clinic-based services and psychosocial support into mothers’ homes. In the evaluation, Dr. May Haddad reported: “This project has lots of passion in it. Somehow, it has magically touched almost every person who has been involved in it… This project has features like no other project among refugee Palestinians and Lebanese in Lebanon.”
The above only highlights specific key achievements of the projects Cycling4Gaza has supported. You can find more details on the projects on www.cycling4gaza.com/projects.
Through our partnership with the PCRF in 2013, we hope we can continue to make a positive impact on Palestinians living in vulnerable conditions.