Decades of conflict and political instability means that life remains precarious for many Palestinians. As a result poverty is rife. On average, 57 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.
The ongoing crisis is the most damaging for children as many have been injured or killed whilst others have been traumatised through living in such a hostile and unrelenting environment.
Checkpoints, roadblocks and the construction of a huge 700km wall have restricted movement and many Palestinians cannot travel to work, sell goods at market or even access water.
Islamic Relief has been providing humanitarian relief in Palestine since 1994 and have always been on the ground, responding to frequent emergencies with emergency relief. Non emergency work has included food distributions, medical relief and orphan sponsorship. Islamic Relief has also established educational enhancement centres, care programs for traumatized children and a school for the deaf.
Islamic Relief is providing 20 widows in the Gaza Strip with higher education in order to equip them to become financially independent.
With an ongoing conflict, most people have lost a friend or family to the violence. But when a woman is widowed, it can become extremely difficult for her to enter the job market. Usually she would be forced to return to her parents home or to remarry, which isn’t always feasible, particular when she has children to look after.
Our project is paying for the tuition fees, textbooks and educational materials transport to university for the two years it takes the 20 widows to complete their degrees. The programme, which is now in its second year, aims to help women complete higher education, secure jobs and support their children.