This month spotlight feature is all about how you can help someone less fortunate than you.
From getting a glass of clean water from your kitchen tap and turning your lights on in the evening to visiting your local GP, there are a whole range of activities that many of us take for granted in the UK. The same isn’t true for the Palestinians living in Gaza. The continuing crisis in this 25-mile long strip of land along the Mediterranean coast means that the more than 1.5 million people living there have to endure significant hardships. Problems range from a lack of access to safe water to poor medical provisions and regular power cuts.
There are ways to help the people of Palestine though. Charities around the world are working on projects to improve lives there. Keep reading to find out more about three of the initiatives being run.
1. Giving access to clean water
The charity Human Appeal is involved in a number of different projects aimed at helping the people of Gaza. One of its initiatives centres on improving access to clean drinking water. According to the charity, more than 94 per cent of the water in Gaza is not fit to drink, with contagions causing a range of diseases and health disorders, including high blood pressure and renal failure. On its website humanappeal.org.uk, the organisation states that thanks to money given by donors, it has been able to provide clean water for more than 200,000 schoolchildren. It now wants to construct a water desalination plant on the coast to provide safe water for the whole of the population. The plant will also provide employment for local people.
2. Giving medical supplies
Healthcare centres have been badly affected by a variety of factors, including a shortage of medical supplies and a lack of construction materials needed to repair and replace ageing and damaged buildings. Several of the hospitals on the Gaza Strip are around 60 years old and are in desperate need of modernisation. The condition of some of the area’s health centres is endangering patient and worker safety. To help ease the pressure on healthcare services, Human Appeal also runs an initiative that focuses on supplying hospitals with the equipment and medicines they need to treat patients.
3. Providing safe lighting solutions
Power cuts are a part of everyday life in Gaza. Outages of 18 hours a day are not uncommon, and this obviously presents people with a whole array of practical difficulties. One of the side effects of the electricity shortages is the fact that people are often forced to rely on unsafe lighting solutions. Poor quality portable generators can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, while candles can be a fire hazard. To help reduce these risks, Human Appeal runs a charity initiative that centres on providing families with safe lighting.
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of the ways in which charity donations are helping the people of Gaza. Other examples include providing food parcels and sponsoring fishermen to give them access to boats and equipment. You can find out more about the different projects being run there by simply doing some research online.