300 kites fly in the skies of Al Walaja

21 May 2011

21 May 2011
West Bank

Today, UNRWA’s psycho-social community project culminated in an epic kite-flying event held in the village of Al Walaja. As part of the event, students from local UNRWA schools flew 300 kites and filled the sky above the village – which is threatened by the construction of the West Bank Barrier – with colour.

“This recreational activity focuses on stress management and has put a smile on the children’s faces,” explained the Al Walaja Co-ed headteacher.

The activity is part of a wider project which provides stress-relieving opportunities and psycho-social support for students and school staff in marginalised communities, who live with the threat of violence and other pressures such as the threat of home demolition and eviction.

The activity was implemented in Al Walaja Co-ed School and Batteer Basic School for Girls, in cooperation with Ansar, a community-based organisation in Al Walaja. Approximately 300 boys and girls took part in this activity which started on 30 April 2011 with kite-making sessions. After making the kites, children painted them with bright motifs and designs. During the celebration the team with the best kite and the most cooperative team spirit were awarded prizes. The event was attended by UNRWA head teachers, Ansar representatives and the local community.

The project is part of UNRWA’s protection programme, which is generously funded by the European Commission’s humanitarian aid department, ECHO. The programme assists some of the most vulnerable communities in the West Bank, with a focus on those under threat of forced displacement due to the Barrier and the measures carried out by the Israeli forces in Area C. The project also contributes towards promoting a safe, and stimulating school environment, which complementing the aims of UNRWA’s education recovery plan.

-ENDS-

For more information, please call:

Ilona Kassissieh
Public Information Officer
Orange: 054 216 8717
Office: 02 589 0408

Background Information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 70.5 million.

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