With a strong voice, full of hope and life, fourth-grade student Karim Al Aklouk has broken down the barriers imposed on him, both by his visual impairment and by living in the Gaza Strip. Ever since he was a toddler, he loved to sing: “I used to use a bottle to make musical rhythms and songs.”
One thousand children attending UNRWA schools in Gaza have flown kites in a symbolic show of support or “kizuna” the Japanese word for solidarity, with the children of Japan and victims of the earthquake and tsunami a year ago.
Braving cold winds, rain, and the occasional muscle cramp, close to 2,000 runners – from children to professional athletes – participated in the Gaza Marathon, a fundraiser for Palestine refugee children in the Gaza Strip.
Three years ago during Operation Cast Lead, 13-year-old Loay Soboh and his family took shelter in an UNRWA school in Gaza. After 15 days in the school, his brother took him home to collect some clothes for the rest of the family. Terrified, Loay ran back to the school for safety.
Hundreds of UNRWA students gathered last week at a school in Nablus to participate in a closing celebration of “EU-UNRWA Days”, a programme that exposed Palestine refugee students to European culture and history.
“I often felt that football was limited to boys,” said Ayda Nidal. “But UNRWA has given us the opportunity to practise football.” The 14-year-old girl and other children living in the Jenin refugee camp are now able to play in a football field restored by UNRWA through a project funded by the German government.