Holy Land: Gender and Nutrition in Gaza
Support one on one, woman-to-woman training in Gaza as it empowers young women to improve their children’s nutrition and their own wellbeing.
Most of us know how important good nutrition is for babies and children, and most of us have the means to provide this for our own children. However, the situation in the Gaza Strip where AID’s partner, the Ahli Arab Hospital operates, is more complex. With almost two thirds of households in Gaza experiencing food insecurity, and cooking gas in short supply, it can be challenging to provide for even basic food requirements of the family.
Because it can also be difficult for mothers in Gaza to go out to receive training in the community, the Ahli came up with a program which would see trained women from the mothers’ own communities go into their homes on a fortnightly basis to conduct vital training in nutrition, self-esteem, communication skills and gender. This program, called the “Woman-to-Woman” Program, goes together with the Ahli’s longstanding Child Nutrition Program aimed at children aged 6 months to 3 years who suffer from malnutrition or stunting.
Rayan is a 25-year-old mother of two living in a house comprising two rooms, a kitchen, and a shared bathroom with her husband’s family in Gaza’s impoverished Mawassi district. Rayan’s son, Mazen, was enrolled in the Child Nutrition Program this year.
Rayan says: “My son suffered from malnutrition and stunted growth. I tried to take him to nutritional organizations, but without success, and he suffered a lot. People in the community called him ‘short’ and I always felt worried and afraid for my child’s safety from bullying. I heard that the Ahli Arab Hospital in coordination with our local Mawassi Society announced they were conducting screening for children who may be malnourished. Mazen was selected to benefit from the program after being examined by the hospital’s medical team.
“After following up with Mazen at the hospital, I was very happy to see the positive improvement in his condition.
“The community mobilizer also played an important role in my life. She gave me wonderful advice that had an excellent impact on my life and corrected mistakes I didn’t even know about. After I participated in Ahli Arab Hospital program, I became stronger and able to face the bad treatment I received from my husband and his family, especially regarding the bullying of my child.
“In fact, my life was like a nightmare until I engaged in the ‘Woman-to-Woman program’ that really opened my eyes. After several awareness sessions, I became more aware of many things. I started living life naturally like any human being, and I began to increase my awareness and understand my husband and his family better. The only thing that hasn’t changed is my economic situation and living in marginalized area far from health care facilities and public transport.
“I’m very grateful to the Ahli Arab Hospital for opening my eyes to new things and ideas. I’m even going to start a small project, raising birds and rabbits, which will help myself, my children, and my husband, who is not working and suffers from joint pain. I truly hope that all malnourished children and their mothers can benefit from such a project.”
Your support of this project will enable more women and children like Rayan and Mazen to participate in this vital and innovative program which makes life-changing health differences to malnourished children, and provides their mothers with new skills, and a new confidence and vision for the future for themselves and their families in this very challenging part of the world.
If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.
– Isaiah 58.10
Most merciful God,
we give you thanks for the work
of the Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza.
Bless all the staff, patients and others who use their services.
We pray particularly for the work the hospital does
to alleviate child malnutrition
to promote paediatric health, and to
promote the rights of women and children.
God of Isaac and Ishmael,
fast establish the day when all those in Gaza and the West Bank
can live unshackled in freedom and dignity.
This we ask through our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God for ever.
In 2024 we hope to raise for this project:
Donation code: XG011HL
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Your gift will be used to help our Sustainable Communities projects planned for this year.
Your donation will help ABM’s Anglicans in Development and our overseas church partners work with communities to combat poverty, overcome illiteracy, enable better access to clean water and sanitation, end gender-based violence, build equality, increase resilience to climate change and disasters and strengthen community-level leadership.
As noted, this is a tax-deductible project. All donations are in Australian dollars (AUD) and all gifts of $2 or more are tax-deductible.
Gifts are received by the trustee for the ‘Anglicans in Development Ltd’ ABN 86 647 293 481
Gifts will be applied to the support of projects selected. In the unlikely event of projects being oversubscribed or not proceeding to completion, donations will be applied to similar projects.
Through the words of a young mother, Shorouq, we gain a glimpse into some of the almost overwhelming challenges faced by families in Gaza, and ways in which AID’s partner, the Ahli Arab hospital, is working to address these challenges.