Fifteen-year-old Palestine refugee wins top prize in WHO art competition

15 June 2012

13 June 2012
East Jerusalem, West Bank

Fifteen-year-old Sundus Raed Afreeky, a Palestine refugee from Arroub camp in the West Bank, was awarded a top prize in a World Health Day art competition held by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The award was presented today at an event in the Hebron area, held in partnership with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

More than 1000 schoolchildren from 14 countries across the Eastern Mediterranean region submitted drawings on the World Health Day theme for 2012: “Ageing and health: good health adds life to years.” Out of submissions from her age group, Sundus ranked first.

A student at UNRWA’s Basic School for Girls in Arroub, Sundus was thrilled to receive the award. Her art, she explains, was inspired by her life growing up in a refugee camp. “My drawing was of an elderly man, in the form of a rooted tree, as a source of life branching its fruit onto the community.”

Attended by many community members, the award ceremony was co-presented by Dr. Umaya Khammash from UNRWA’s health programme, and Dr. Tasneem Atatrah from WHO’s office in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The celebration also included a film screening about UNRWA’s contributions to Palestine refugee health, dabkeh dance, and performances.

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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, microfinance and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.

For more information, please contact:

Ilona Kassissieh
Public Information Officer
Mobile: 972 (0) 54 216 8717
Office: 972 (0) 2 589 0408
i.kassissieh@unrwa.org

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$ 69 million.

For more information, please contact:

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