Meayssa Al Hasanet, February 2016
|Meayssa, at right, with three members of the CBO, meeting in the Bedouin
Village, Gaza City. © Julianne Stewart/ABM, 2016.
During her recent monitoring visit to ABM’s partner, the Ahli Hospital in the Gaza strip, ABM’s Programs Director, Dr Julianne Stewart, met with many inspirational people. One such person was Meayssa Al Hasanet, Director of the Community-based organisation (CBO) Vision Association Development. The Ahli Hospital works with as many as 35 CBOs in their community outreach work, including a community outreach supported by ABM, the under-three Child Nutrition Program.
Meayssa is a graduate in Business Administration, but mostly works as a volunteer with her CBO in areas such as the Bedouin village, which is in one of the poorest in Gaza City. She is responsible for overseeing the selection of at-risk children to be screened by the Al Ahli Hospital. But Meayssa does not do this alone. Local committees that have been established to help in this process, with members who have been specially selected by their communities. These men and women also volunteer their time for this important work, and are tasked with assessing the many, many children who are in need.
Meayssa provides a list of criteria for this selection process, and supports the committee as they make their decisions. This list addresses factors such as level of household income, illness or disability in the family, condition of their housing, and whether the family is already receiving outside assistance.
Using these criteria, the committee has recently selected 39 children from the Bedouin village. These children will all be screened by the hospital, and the most needy will be admitted to the program. As the program runs in three-month cycles, admissions for these children will be in April 2016.
Of this work, Meayssa says, “Ahli Hospital is recognised as delivering services that should be the governments’ responsibility. They are indeed working with poor communities. We ask international institutions like you (ABM) to continue supporting Ahli Hospital and this program. Support us in this area in order to improve this area. I am not alone. I work with a committee. We are all volunteers. Maybe the political situation and economic situation is very bad. The people who suffer the most are the poor people in this area.”
Supporting this program will enable this vital work to continue, and enable Meayssa and local committees to continue ensuring the poorest children in Gaza do not have to suffer chronic health conditions caused by malnutrition.