• 25 March 2009

Dubai Cares, with the assistance of Save the Children, is helping children affected by the recent conflict continue their primary education by giving more than 2,300 schoolbag kits to children throughout the Gaza Strip.  Provided by Dubai Cares, the world’s largest NGO dedicated to primary education, the kits contain notebooks, pens, other basic materials and a soft toy and will be distributed by Save the Children.

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Chairperson of Dubai Cares, said: “Dubai Cares appreciates the assistance of Save the Children to ensure much needed aid reaches children who have to cope with the aftermath of a devastating conflict.  The immediate rehabilitation and general well being of these children is our prime concern and an interest we share with our partner Save the Children.”

“Thousands of children have lost their homes and school supplies, while more than 60 schools were damaged in the fighting,” said Charles MacCormack, president and CEO of Save the Children. “These kits will help provide children with the tools they need to continue their studies. Dubai Cares’ commitment to ensuring that children can get the education they deserve even under difficult circumstances is to be commended.”

The school kits were part of two aid shipments – totaling 28 truckloads – provided by Dubai Cares to the Gaza Strip.  The shipments also include hygiene kits and modular schools, designed to Dubai Cares’ specifications for rapid response interventions.  Assembled within a total of 72 hours, one school occupies approximately 800 square meters of land and comprises 11 classrooms, 2 bathrooms for boys and girls and can accommodate up to 460 students.

Save the Children has to date reached over 3,000 children and 38 teachers with recreational kits and plastic sheeting for preschools, and teacher trainings.  The agency’s ongoing work will support early childhood and primary education institutions and providers, through infrastructure improvement, teacher training and provision of health and emotional-support activities in schools.

During and after the violence, Save the Children distributed baby hygiene kits, diapers, food, water, family hygiene kits, cribs, school uniforms, household items and recreational kits for preschools. In addition, the agency has established 23 child-friendly spaces so that children have a safe and supervised place to play. It also is installing household water tanks, among other activities. To date the agency has reached 82,500 people, including 46,200 children.

In just 22 days, 1,440 people were killed and 5,380 injured in the fighting in Gaza, one of the most densely populated places in the world.  According to United Nations estimates, Palestinian children account for approximately one out of every three persons killed.

Save the Children is the leading independent organization creating lasting change for children in need around the world. For more than 75 years, Save the Children has been helping children survive and thrive by improving their health, education and economic opportunities and, in times of acute crisis, mobilizing rapid lifesaving assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters.

Dubai Cares is implementing development programs in several countries including Bangladesh, Bosnia, Chad, Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Maldives, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, Palestinian refugees (in Lebanon and Jordan), Sudan and Yemen. Its emergency interventions – which to date include interventions in Chad, Myanmar and Ethiopia - stem from its philosophy that guaranteeing the continuity of children’s education is as important as ensuring their physical well being.

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