Samouni boy receives gift of clothingAbout a year ago, a social enterprise was planned for the Samouni family to assist with the education of their 100+ children, provide employment to their adults, and build support for the community through their community centre. This enterprise was supported by the Trade not Aid enterprise founded by Ken O’Keefe.

This family had suffered at the end of Israeli firepower in an incident that flouted international law, let alone all natural laws of humanity. Having been rounded up in a house by the Israeli military allegedly to avoid harm, the house was then bombed by that military, killing 28 people including children. The Red Cross was then denied access to the family by the Israeli military for 3 days (also against international conventions), so that none of the injured could be tended for. Once the Red Cross did gain access, they found horrific injuries and trauma, including a child that was alive, but trapped under the corpse of his mother’s body for the 3 days.

We in Hope and Play offered our support to the Samouni social enterprise by donating a good number of English and Arabic children’s education books for the school through Trade not Aid. During my visit to Gaza in June, I undertook the task of delivering these books. I was sad to discover when I arrived that the Samouni social enterprise had not moved forward in that year, and that the school project also had stalled. The books that we had put together sadly had no home in this not yet-existant Samouni project (More on the background for that in my next post).

We took 2 decisions on that basis. It was clear that the Samouni family still sadly needed support. So we spent the equivalent donation amount on buying badly needed clothes for the children, based on a list of needs provided by the family. We then also decided that we needed to find a better home for the books in a school with the facilities to make use of them.We entrusted our partners in Gaza, the Canaan Institute of New Pedagogy, with both tasks.

And on the Muslim festival of Eid el Fitr, 150 delighted children in the Samouni family received gifts of new clothing.

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And the books? Well we found them a welcome home in one of Gaza’s schools.

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So a huge thank you to our donors for these tremendous gifts for Gaza’s children. Thank you also Trade not Aid for initiating this project, and the Canaan Institute of New Pedagogy for making it all happen on the ground.