12 December 2012
More than half of the population of Gaza is under the age of 18. For these 800,000 boys and girls, daily life is characterised by conflict, poverty, loss of hope, and little freedom of choice or movement. The Gaza Strip is a difficult place for children. One family in central Gaza felt the impact particularly badly.
The Baghdadi family live in Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. Three weeks before the recent upsurge in conflict, after years living in a very modest home, Adnan and family moved into a new house in the camp with his wife and five children.
The youngest member of the family, five-year-old Rasha, was excited to have her very own bed for the first time, and a shelf for her toys.
When the recent bombardment of Gaza started, the family left the house to find safer shelter elsewhere. While they were gone, Israeli forces bombed a neighboring house, and the Baghdadis’ new home was severely damaged beyond repair.
Adnan and family were devastated, he says. Adnan had borrowed nearly 30,000 dollars in order to move homes; now this family of modest means, regular faces the prospect of rebuilding a home once more.
Little Rasha is sad for her bed and toys, say her parents. Meanwhile, the family is struggling to see how they will rebuild the house they thought would last them.
“I need help to have my house rebuilt and to repay my debts” says Adnan, “but mostly I just want this to be the last war.
“I want us to live in peace.”
This holiday season, help families in Gaza struggling with the aftermath of conflict by making a donation to UNRWA.