UNRWA and EC Launch the Balloon Mobile in Fawwar Refugee Camp

27 September 2009

27 September 2009

East Jerusalem

UNRWA launched the "Blue Balloon Mobile" yesterday in Fawwar refugee camp as part of a series of commemorative events marking 60 years since the Agency was established.

Yesterday the "Blue Balloon Mobile" arrived at UNRWA’s Boy’s school in Fawwar refugee camp. Approximately 250 sixth graders had gathered in the school playground to attend this event where a fun day was organised in partnership with Sharek Youth Forum under the theme of the "Blue Balloon". Children participated in drawing workshops, stage shows and team games and enjoyed a musical show by the Palestinian artist Omar Jallad.

Barbara Shenstone, Director of West Bank Operations at UNRWA, welcomed all attendants including the mayor, the governor, and members of the parents’ council. The official delegation also included Mr. Christian Berger, European Commission Representative, along with other EC representatives. Attendants were invited for two short film screenings, followed by the release of helium balloons into the air, an activity carried out with the participation of parents.

The Blue Balloon represents UNRWA and is like a protective moon that has accompanied the Palestine refugees throughout their exile. The balloon is a symbol of hope that can rise over obstacles and therefore unite people that have been separated and scattered, as has been the fate of Palestine refugee communities.

The balloon is a childhood object, representing the innocence of children who are the chief recipients of UNRWA services and who, through this campaign, have been invited to join the Agency in commemorating this milestone.

"Blue Balloon Mobile" events have been organised with the generous funding of the EC, which has contributed significantly toward the implementation of these activities. Other donors include the Hoping Foundation, the National Beverage Company, Bailasan Design and Zoom advertising. Sharek Youth Forum is the implementing partner.

The "Blue Balloon Mobile" will continue to make its way across the West Bank and will bring Blue Balloon fun to 18 refugee camps and Ar Ramadin with the participation of approximately 4,000 boys and girls. UNRWA will include additional children from similar age groups in other activities in the near future. The campaign is carried out in conjunction with UNRWA’s Educational Recovery Plan (ERP), which aims to improve education in all of UNRWA’s schools in the West Bank under the motto "towards a brighter future".


For more information please contact:

Ilona Kassissieh
Public Information Officer
UNRWA - West Bank Field Office
Tel: 972 2 589 0408
Mobile: 054 216 8717

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:

Two UNRWA students from Gaza enjoy recess in their first day of school. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al-Saraj
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