giving totals

Total funding goal: $985

Total funding to date: $1,265

Remaining goal: $-280

Total Donors: 33

Middle East Children's Alliance

Founded in 1988, the Middle East Children's Alliance is a registered nonprofit organization working for the rights and the well-being of children in the Middle East.

Project start date: 08/01/2011

Project completion date: 09/01/2012

Centering Palestinian Women in Aid Work

Nuseirat Refugee Camp, Gaza, Palestine

With your help, MECA is excited to start putting women at the heart of aid programs in Gaza! This innovative new project will be piloted in Beit Hanoun, one of the most marginalized areas of the Gaza Strip. We will work with women in this community on a two-month training tailored to their needs that will give them the information, skills, and confidence they need to take leading roles in future aid programs.

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Where this project is located

Info about Palestine

Children are everywhere here in Gaza. They make up more than 60% of the entire population because the average family size is 7.2 people. Crowded towns, refugee camps and cities cram over 1.5 million people into these 360 square kilometers, making Gaza one of the densely populated areas of the world. Between the Israeli occupation, the siege of Gaza, and the internal Palestinian divisions, children in Gaza have been, and continue to be deprived of many of their basic rights. The right to play, to live in suitable homes, to live in a safe and healthy atmosphere, and to have access to food and clean water.

Project Milestones

MECA will work with local community leaders and grassroots organizations to invite 35 women to join the project.  We will target women who aren't active in civil society and who have minimal formal education.

The exact set of trainings and lectures will be determined by the women's age group as they know what is most relevant and interesting to them.  The project coordinator will discuss possible topics with them including firs aid, nutrition, hygiene, women's rights, communication skills, etc. and the implement a plan according to their needs.

After the trainings, the women will create a list of items for gift baskets for their families.  The project coordinator will accompany the women to the market so that the women are in control of what they receive and also gain experience in bargaining since they are buying in large quantities.

MECA will work with the participants in future aid programs, seeking input on what is needed and help in distribution to their community. We will also replicate this program in other areas of Gaza.


This project was developed by a team of community activists in Gaza.  For the past several years and even longer, Gaza has been the recipient of massive amounts of aid but the people on the ground have had very little say in what they want as aid agencies send large shipments and Israel arbitrarily bars items from entering the Gaza Strip.  This projecet is aimed at changing the way aid is brought and distributed to empower rather than dis-empower Palestinians in Gaza.

Women are the best way to do this because they are the caregivers in Palestinian society and are the best positioned to know what they and their families need.  Through this project we will simply give them more information and skills so they can make smarter choices and take a more active role in their families and communities.

More Information

"People think that MECA projects are very valuable and they make a difference in people's lives.  We do not have offices in Gaza, however, we are well known to the community via our projects.  People are grateful that their children have access to clean drinking water at schools thanks to MECA, have fun while participating in the entertaining programs at different centers we support, and students are grateful for the scholarships that allow them to continue their studies.  I receive comments and thanks everyday while visiting places and meeting people in Gaza.  They express their feelings to me in person."

-Dr. Mona El-Farra, MECA Director of Gaza Projects