Summer Games 2010

24 November 2010

In the early hours of 23 May 2010, a group of approximately 30 armed and masked men attacked and set fire to an UNRWA Summer Games beach location. The attackers left a note threatening to take further action if the Summer Games were not called off. Calling the incident "an attack on the happiness of children", UNRWA's Director of Operations in Gaza, John Ging, promised to quickly rebuild the location. The site was rebuilt within 24 hours, allowing UNRWA's Summer Games 2010 to open on time and in spectacular style with an Olympic-inspired torch relay.

During Summer Games 2010, more than 250,000 refugee children across the Gaza Strip enjoyed swimming, sports, arts and crafts, life skills, and theatre and dance activities at 1,200 summer camps run by UNRWA. They expressed themselves creatively, learned new skills, discussed human rights and made new friends. For most of these children, Summer Games was their only chance to participate in recreational activities during the year.

Now in its fourth year, Summer Games continues to be a rare source of joy and pride for the children of Gaza. This year, the children broke two Guinness World Records: their own record, set in 2009, for the most number of kites flown simultaneously, and a record previously set in the USA in 2007 for the most number of basketballs dribbled simultaneously. As United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: Summer Games, and these records, show that "the children of Gaza can bounce back from any adversity and be the best in the world."