As we make our way toward a new year of work for children’s rights, we at DCI-Palestine would like to share our reflections on the year behind us: a year full of major developments not only for our organisation and the specific communities we serve, but also for our larger political, social and economic context.
In 2012, we experienced such events as the recognition of Palestine as a non-member state in the un: an important change we intend to study carefully in order to monitor its impact on our work and to determine how it can most benefit our children. this year also contained yet another Israeli war on the Gaza Strip; 158 Palestinians were killed, of whom 33 were children. As we have seen again and again, such onslaughts “end” with impunity for the state of Israel, while Palestinian children pay the price. DCI-Palestine continues to advocate for these children’s rights, and for an end to the occupation that systematically violates them.
Further, in past months, there have been various efforts toward ending the political split between Gaza and the West Bank. We encourage these efforts: such divisions fragment the Palestinian people and, in turn, fragment the futures of Palestinian children. this bizarre situation must end as soon as possible.
As we all know, too, the world continues to feel the strain of the global financial crisis. the crisis impedes the work of all nGos, including DCI-Palestine. In 2012, we suffered some additional funding cuts. Both in light of these struggles and in general, I would like to thank those partners who not only held on and continued supporting us, but who were also ready to contribute additional money to compensate for our deficit: ICCo/Kerk in Actie, the united Church of Canada, and the united Methodist Church/uSA. these partners have contributed immensely to our work, progress, sustainability, and future plans, for which we are very grateful. the financial crisis is not our only challenge: this year, we have begun to feel the competition from an increasing number of nGos coming to Palestine from abroad, especially those implementing programs on the ground and hunting for new proposals and initiatives.
In this way, they create competition with and obstacles for local organisations like DCIPalestine. I don’t want to discredit all these organizations, but we do need to engage in frank discussion with them to emphasise that they are hurting our work and endangering our survival as an institution.