UNRWA USA GAZA5k California for the children of GAZA
Nick Locke, 19-year-old, from University California San Diego, and member of Students for Global health, first place, at the moment to enter the finishing line at the Gaza5k Orange County/LA walk/run, at Mile Square Park on October 24, 2015 donation drive for Mental Health Programs in Gaza, Palestine, sponsored by UNRAWA USA, with the participation of the Community of Palestinian at Fountain Valley, Calif photo/Marivel Guzman
Today the community of Orange, San Diego, Riverside and Los Angeles counties areas came together once again to show solidarity with Palestine specially the children of the besieged Gaza Strip. Palestinian supporters and runners enthusiasts gathered today at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley, Calif to participate and raise funds in the annual GAZA5K event sponsored by United National Relief Works Agency USA to raise funds for the children of Gaza.
The Gaza5K is an annual walk/run hosted by United National Relief Works Agency USA. This event raises funds for UNRWA’s Community Mental Health Program (CMHP) to support thousands of refugee children in Gaza affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other psychological trauma.
According to Save the Children in one area, al-Shoka, nearly half the children interviewed wet the bed every night. Up to 89% of parents reported that their children suffer consistent feelings of fear, while more than 70% of children said they worried about another war. On average seven out of 10 children interviewed suffer regular nightmares.
“Save the Children CEO Justin Forsyth said in a statement that, ‘Many children in Gaza have now lived through three wars in the past seven years, the last one notable for its brutality. They are emotionally and, in some cases, physically shattered.” Save the Children
During last year’s 51-day war, 551 children in Gaza were killed and 3,436 were injured, while an estimated 1,500 lost their parents. Many more were made homeless and saw their schools damaged or destroyed. In Israel, one child was also killed by rocket fire and 270 were injured.
UNRWA USA is an independent nonprofit organization that supports the humanitarian and human development work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) through fundraising, advocacy, and outreach. UNRWA USA aims to educate the general American public about the situation of Palestine refugees and generate support for UNRWA’s work in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.
Approximately 500 people between participants, volunteers and Palestinian supporters showed up to the event. According to Laila Mokhiber coordinator of UNRWA USA the $ 75,000 goal was meet. Business sponsors and Team sponsors collected most of the money. T-shirts bearing the logo of sponsors were distributed between participants of the race and supporters.
The event was well advertised in Facebook and other social media platforms expecting to attract some media to cover the event, but as always they stay silence, except for Don Kim, a photojournalist from Korea News Agency that came to cover the race.
Don Kim, photojournalist for Korean News Agency said that he picked the event at his agency website. Kim said that he has been covering Palestine for some time now, and has visited Gaza, Jerusalem and West Ban. He supports Palestine.
The following teams were present: Kinder USA, Students for Justice for Palestine from University California, Riverside, Students for Global Health, Palestine Youth Movement, OC Halal Food Fest, Alliso Viejo Moms for Gaza Team, Laith N Hasan Sponsor Team, Loay Elbasyouni sponsor team, Palestinian American of Women Association (PAWA).
Amir Hammad portrays a Palestinian flag on his face.
The Musa Family came specially from Florida to attend the event
California communities send their condolences to the families in Palestine that have lost dear ones during the the recent events.