Caritas Jerusalem Gaza Health Centre, Gaza, Palestine
As of August 2014 during the Israeli attacks on Gaza, the numbers of Palestinians killed and wounded had surpassed those reached during the devastating attacks of 2008/9. Since the bombardment started on the 7th July, Israeli attacks from air, sea and land had claimed at least 324 Palestinian children’s lives, with an additional 2502 children being wounded. There was widespread trauma, with many of the children suffering from PTSD, acute anxiety and insomnia.
In an attempt to help, the Mandala Trust partnered with Irish Medical Aid for Palestinians (IMAP) who identified the Caritas Jerusalem Gaza Health Centre which guaranteed that all funds donated would go directly to supporting children and young people affected by this current crisis.
The Caritas Jerusalem Gaza Health Centre is located in the Beach Camp area of Gaza City. This is one of the most populous areas in the Gaza Strip (80,000 inhabitants) and it is situated very close to the Jabalia Refugee Camp.
The health centre offers primary healthcare and provides an integrated medical programme to the local community. The centre is also the base of a mobile medical team which is providing service to Gaza’s most marginalized communities. The mobile unit visits Rafah, Amore, Imm Sadar, Magazi, Al Shati Camp and Breij Camp.
On top of medical care, the team provides much-needed psychological help to the victims of the surrounding violence. They pay particular attention to the children who suffer the most from the conflict and the harsh living conditions. In addition to therapeutic help, they also provide leisure activities for children and young people. With a mixture of fundraising and a Mandala Trust grant we were able to support this psychosocial aspect of the work with children in Gaza.