oPt

Caritas Jerusalem: Staying in Touch, Vol 3, No. 1, Jan/Feb/Mar 2007

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Caritas Jerusalem continues to reach out to the sick and the vulnerable through the SOA 9/2006 program - Focus on surgical interventions - Gaza

Caritas Jerusalem had the honor of taking part in the Second Australian Humanitarian Mission. This program brings doctors to Gaza to perform multiple surgeries on many patients at one time. Through this particular intervention, 43 patients were assisted (41 were children) with complicated medical procedures. By bringing these doctors to Gaza and doing these surgeries there, the cost savings were huge. In addition, there would be no guarantee that the patients could ever even leave Gaza anyway. Caritas Jerusalem contributed directly to 20 of the surgical interventions through the SOA 9 2006 program.

Caritas Jerusalem sends help to Nablus

Caritas Jerusalem has sent a humanitarian donation of 200 food parcels to poor families in the Old City of Nablus at the beginning of March. This donation came due to the very bad situation there following one of the worst incursions into Nablus in the last three years.

Caritas Jerusalem's Cash for Work program - Reaching out to needy families

While the problems present here in Palestine require serious political actions, coupled with these must be the development of economic opportunities. Having employment flourish is a key sign of a healthy society. With employment, the society can develop, people can advance in their lives, the young can marry and care for their families, the government can function better, and society can be improved.

While the current economic and political situation is very difficult, even in this environment, we believe that it is essential to continue to focus on community building targeting meaningful work and development while providing people with short-term employment opportunities. This is the essence of our Cash for Work program: Allowing people to earn a living with dignity while helping themselves and their communities at the same time.

In our Job Creation actions, we have focused on the following interventions that give short and long-term benefits. These actions include:

- building retaining walls for roads and schools

- cleaning cemeteries

- renovating schools

- planting trees

- cleaning roads

- building sidewalks

- constructing rain water drainage canals

- building a sanitary unit at a school

As our resources for this program are limited, we have had to prioritize our focus. We have selected to work in the neediest areas of Gaza, Jenin and in the marginalized areas of Ramallah with our larger Cash for Work interventions.