3rd Annual Gaza 5K in Washington

05 May 2014
3rd Annual Gaza 5K in Washington

American Friends of UNRWA Organizes Third Annual Gaza Solidarity 5K in Washington, DC

American Friends of UNRWA (UNRWA USA) invites its donors and supporters to participate in its third annual Gaza Solidarity 5K Walk/Run on 17 May 2014 at Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC. The Gaza 5K is a fun, family-friendly event that brings members of the American community together to show solidarity with the children of Gaza. The event attracts people of all ages, runners, walkers and those passionate about Gaza.

Proceeds from the Gaza 5K Walk/Run benefit the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) community mental health programme (CMHP). CMHP is designed to empower vulnerable refugees in Gaza, particularly children suffering from PTSD and other psychological trauma, to better cope with the extreme challenges they face on a daily basis. Through the programme, UNRWA provides school, group and even at-home counseling. 

UNRWA USA Executive Director Abby Smardon remarked: “The stress of the ongoing blockade, recurring violence, and extreme poverty is causing great suffering for the people of Gaza, especially the children. But while in Gaza last month, I was amazed to see the fantastic work that UNRWA counselors are carrying out each day to ensure that all children in Gaza have a chance at a brighter future. By participating in the Gaza 5K, individuals in the US have a chance to be a part of that important work too.”

The fundraising goal for this year’s DC race is US$ 100,000 or more to support the children of Gaza.

Individuals can register or donate online via: http://unrwausa.org/gaza5k

Those unable to attend the race in person can still show support by creating a fundraising page, donating to a runner or by spreading the word. Non-attendees are encouraged to create a free FirstGiving fundraising page in order to help UNRWA USA raise money from anywhere in the world! 
For those located on the West Coast, UNRWA USA is hosting a Gaza 5K in San Francisco on 18 October and in Los Angeles/Orange County on 25 October.

Join the movement to be a champion to the children of Gaza today!

UNRWA USA thanks these major sponsors: The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, The Embassy of the State of Qatar, Qatar Foundation International, The Bank of Palestine, and Consolidated Contractors Company. Click here for a full list.

UNRWA USA is an independent non-profit organization that provides support for the humanitarian work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). UNRWA USA aims to educate the general American public about the situation of Palestine refugees and generate support for UNRWA programmes. US taxpayers are eligible for tax deductions for donations made through UNRWA USA.

To learn more about the work of UNRWA USA, visit www.unrwausa.org

Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

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

For more information, please contact:

Abby Smardon
Executive Director, American Friends of UNRWA
(+1) 202-223-3767
(+1) 202-223-3767
Two UNRWA students from Gaza enjoy recess in their first day of school. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al-Saraj
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