The best response to a crisis situation is a pro-active response. Cycling4Gaza was just that. C4G was founded in 2009 as a result of the attacks on Gaza. A group of young enthusiasts believed that the world had a right to know the truth and were inspired to break through their comfort zone in order to achieve this. C4G’s first cycle was a 3 day 300km challenge from London to Paris. The cycle not only raised over £85,000 for Medical Aid for Palestinians UK (MAP UK), but also generated significant momentum; raising awareness to the crisis in Gaza.
The funds raised were effectively utilised to support three under-funded projects in Gaza:
- Emergency Maternal and New-born Health Care
- Specialist Burn Care Training
- Training of Trainers in Primary Trauma Care
11,250 women were expected to develop complications during pregnancy and birth in addition to 3,700 babies classified as high risk. In order to battle this issue; MAP partnered with UNFPA and UNICEF to create effective systems and protocols to ensure the appropriate level of care was available for pregnant women and new-born babies in the Gaza strip. The overall purpose of the project was to reduce maternal and neonatal morbidity by developing an integrated emergency procedure for safe delivery and new-born health. The project employed three types of positive interventions; the training and capacity development of the staff, provision of the required emergency obstetric equipment and supplies and the implementation of an emergency response and coordination plan. This project improved the quality of care of 80-90% of pregnant women and new-born babies in the Gaza Strip.
The Specialist Burns Care Training project ran for over a two year period to guarantee the effective training of the staff and upgrading the equipment in the facility to the required standard. The individuals trained through this project were accredited with qualifications of a new distance diploma developed by the University of London. The execution of this project was vital for the well-being of the Gaza population due to the limited resources, capabilities and facilities available for burn patient care and rehabilitation within the Gaza Strip.
Over and above the mentioned projects, MAP supported a Training of Trainers in Primary Trauma Care program. It is a program that is continuously being developed due to the novelty of the concept. Training the trainers provides members of the community with skills and knowledge that allow them to act as effective first responders to give critical first aid intervention within the golden hour of patient injury; essential for the nature of the current life in Gaza.
Re-action creates a change tainted by the past. Pro-action creates a change that is inspired by passion, hope, knowledge and creativity.
“If you’re proactive, you don’t have to wait for circumstances or other people to create perspective expanding experiences. You can consciously create your own.” – Stephan Covey