Since December 27, 2008 when the Israelis started bombing Gaza, children and women have suffered the most. Over 800,000 children have been exposed to extraordinary levels of violence and insecurity, some 1,600 have been injured and more than 300 children have died. Gazan children who have survived are experiencing unimaginable trauma every day, cowering from fear and suffering from stress-related health problems such as asthma.
Even though there is now a truce, the ordeal of the children is not over. Many are still fearful, in pain and have an uncertain future because they have lost their parents and siblings.
In trying to think what I, as a mother, could do, I came up with this idea and have teamed up with UNICEF Malaysia and +wondermilk to launch To My Friend in Gaza (Untuk Kawan Ku di Gaza) today. The basic idea is to get Malaysian children to write letters/cards/postcards or make drawings for the children of Gaza to show their support, provide encouragement and let them know that they have friends here who are thinking of them and praying for their safety.
The letters will be translated into Arabic by a team of volunteers and will then be handed over to UNICEF Malaysia to be sent to UNICEF in the Occupied Territories to be then distributed among the children in Gaza. +wondermilk designed the logo which they say "is a celebration of hope, peace, love and happiness". I think it's the absolute antithesis of aggression.:-)
I believe that knowing that someone out there cares about them will help these children heal more quickly and will make them realise that there is a world out there where violence and war is not the norm and where there is hope for peace.
I've already received my first letters when the news about this project spread via email, Facebook and word-of-mouth. The first ones came from a bunch of 4 and 5-year olds from a church in PJ. Really sweet messages that say simply 'I love you, I will pray for you'. There are many parents who are asking their schools to get their students to participate so I hope there will be many many more letters that we can send over.
If you would like to help, this is what you can do:
1. Please talk to your children, their friends and their schools and ask them to participate. All letters can be sent to:
To My Friend in Gaza, c/o 48, Jalan Terasek Dua, 59100 Kuala Lumpur.
Preferably by February 20 please.
2. If you have a blog, could you kindly display the logo and link to mine so more people will know about it?
The letters can be in any language at all. I will try and scan some and put them on this blog from time to time.
Thank you so much, folks, from me and my partners in this project and most of all, from the children of Gaza.
(Post is taken here)