An appeal for the Holy Land: children in Gaza need care
An appeal for peace and a fundraising campaign to provide care for children in the Holy Land have been launched in Florence (Italy), declared ‘Peace Messenger City’ by the UN.
The fundraising campaign to provide care for girls and boys in the Holy Land ends on 8th December. It is promoted by three Florence-based associations named after former mayor Giorgio La Pira, a prophet of dialogue and peace: Fondazione La Pira, Centro Internazionale Studenti and Opera Gioventù Giorgio La Pira, in collaboration with the Focolare Movement. Florence, ‘Peace Messenger City’, as it was declared by the UN in 1987, is the symbolic epicentre of this initiative; a city that, through the free expression of its civil society, has something to say in the face of the contradictions and wounds of our time.
The appeal and the fundraising campaign were launched in the aftermath of the latest hostilities in the Holy Land, with their heavy toll of casualties. On 21st May this year, the Israeli government and Hamas declared an immediate ceasefire which stopped missile and bomb strikes. But the toll of the eleven days of conflict was dramatic, generating an increased sense of insecurity in Israel and leaving the population of Gaza exhausted and in need of an aid plan.
The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) reported that 70% of the population of Gaza has been affected to some extent, and that $38 million is needed to provide immediate assistance to refugees who have lost their home and livelihoods.
Furthermore, there is a need for indispensable political initiatives oriented towards dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, aimed at putting the Palestinian question back at the centre of the international agenda in order to eradicate the causes that have led to crises, violence and wars in Israel and Palestine.
“Following the grave crisis in this area which is so strategic to the destiny of the world, we were particularly struck by the suffering of children – the promoters of the appeal and fundraising campaign say –, hence our proposal for an appeal and fundraising to be directed, without intermediaries, to two local institutions known for their care for wounded children: the Gaza Healthcare and Psychosocial Program for Women and Children of the Pontifical Mission for Palestine, and the Saving Children project of the Shimon Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in Tel Aviv”.
You can still read the Appeal, join the initiative and offer support until 8th December 2021.
Underlining the importance of their heartfelt appeal, the promoters explain:
Even though we are aware that our way of thinking is naïve, we believe that, in order to make peace, we need not only realism, but also political creativity and thoughts that come from the heart. Beyond the rights and wrongs of the situation, children, without distinction, must be the focus, because they are innocent victims.
In the face of violence, we must look at the real suffering of the little boys and girls who are the first to pay the price of cynical military policies of governments and political leaders who are almost indifferent to their suffering, to the deaths and the psychological trauma which is much more difficult to heal than physical wounds.
Ours is a small network action, proportionate to our means. But it acquires value and significance because it is an Action that joins a large chorus of actions made up of people and forces in the international civil society who care about a peaceful Middle East, and who consider it the place that contains our whole world”.