We spoke to some local parents at the closing ceremony of one of the summer camps, part of the Gaza Summer Games organized by UNRWA for over 200,000 children.
“My son is so much more happy and energetic since the start of the games. Every morning he has been so excited to go to the summer camps, and he comes back telling us what he did today and what games they played. His morale was really boosted. Now he’s upset because this is the last day!”
This event is so necessary; I mean, the situation being what it is here, children and families really need a break and more of these activities. The kids see so much, and they understand the situation and the suffering of their parents. So these kinds of activities really help them psychologically and encourage their talents. As you can see, here the kids can play, and laugh, and be happy… and we’re happy for them.”
Khalid Abu Ramadan
“There’s been real change for the better in my son; his behaviour has really improved since the start of the games. Every day, he can’t wait to go to the camp, and when he comes home, he is so talkative. He tells me, 'Dad, we talked about this today, and we did that today…’ Of course, he forgets some things, but I understand from him and see in him that he is really happy. Then the next morning, he sits and waits for the games to start again!
My son has enjoyed the summer games so much, we will definitely be signing him up again for the next time! We want him to have fun and benefit from the experience, along with all the other kids.
“We thank the people who made this possible. Because, the kids need things like this, to help them out of their situation and help them to shake off the repression that they experience here. So we thank god for this.
Every day, my son comes home so excited, and shows me the gymnastics and dance moves he learnt that day. He says 'Mama, look, I’ll show you what I did today’. You know, the kids really enjoyed the whole experience. But of course, if I thought he wouldn’t benefit and have a good time at the summer camp, I would not have signed him up!”
“Our children are deprived of everything in this world, but the summer camp provides a moment of happiness. My son Khalid didn’t need any encouragement from us to join the games; he made the decision to go all by himself. Now, he comes and tells me “Mama, I’ve been practising, and soon I’m going to be part of a big show... Mama, I’m so so happy”. Really, psychologically, he has changed; he is really happy these days, and he has made more friends. Today is the last day of the summer camps, and he is insisting that he wants to come along and take part one more time!
“I want to thank each and every person who contributed and made the camps possible. My girls attended the summer camp and, thank God, they have come out of themselves so much. Before they were very shy and afraid, and now they are so much more confident. I’m so grateful to UNRWA for this.”