Sponsor a child in the Palestinian Territories
The Palestinian Territories are disputed areas of land which neighbour Israel. While Israel claims the regions for itself, over 100 countries now recognise Palestine as a separate state. Families living in these regions must contend with difficulties caused by a turbulent economy and ongoing violence. SOS Children has been active here since 1968.
Children living in the Palestinian Territories need your help and you can support them by sponsoring a child with SOS Children:Sponsor a child in the Palestinian Territories
A society marked by violence
Living standards in Palestine are highly dependent on Israeli policy. At times when free movement of people and trade is allowed, conditions improve. Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip are particularly deprived, with the overwhelming majority living in poverty and just under half unemployed. Again, restrictions on movement impede access to healthcare, with medical service on the verge of collapse when borders are closed.
A dangerous upbringing
Over half of the Palestinian population is under the age of 18. Children grow up amid frequent outbreaks of street violence sparked by ongoing political turmoil. A scarcity of jobs means that young people face a future of joblessness, and with food prices increasing just as household income is increasing, life is set to get harder for tomorrow's generation. Sadly, studies suggest violence is not confined to the streets, with many children facing abuse in the home.
Our Work in Palestinian Territories
We run a Children's Village in both territories, located in the key locations of Gaza and Bethlehem. Alongside our Villages, six medical centres aim to help those affected by the fighting by providing healthcare to families and psychological support to children traumatised by years of violence.
We began our work in Palestine in the historic biblical town of Bethlehem in 1968. An SOS Nursery allows young children from the Village and the surrounding community to take the first steps of school life together, and they continue to grow together at our SOS Primary School. As children grow up, our nearby SOS Youth Home allows them to make a gradual transition to independence. They work with adults, learning about the decisions and responsibilities they will face outside the Village. We also carry out essential work helping vulnerable families stay together. This way, we ensure children spend childhood with their parents and enjoy the best possible upbringing.
In 2003, we set up an aid programme to provide support to children suffering from trauma as a result of daily violence. Travelling in a mobile clinic, a team of doctors and social workers spend at least two months in each location, helping youngsters come to terms with what they have experienced.
After three years of negotiation with the Palestinian authorities, we opened a Village in Rafah near Gaza. A high population density and widespread poverty made this an important centre for our work. An SOS Nursery provides care and early education to young children from the Village and community beyond, and they continue their learning at our SOS Primary School. As in Bethlehem, young adults approaching independence move on to an SOS Youth Home where they get to grips with the challenges of adult life. Again, we work in the community to prevent family breakdowns and ensure children the best start possible.
Life in SOS Children's Village Palestinian Territories
SOS Children's Village Bethlehem was looking forward to welcoming five siblings, aged between 14 days and 9 years.
The children used to live in a shack. When we found them, their mother was lying on a thin mattress on the ground breathing heavily. She was mentally ill and only a fortnight before she gave birth to a girl who was left at the maternity hospital.
One of the neighbours explained the situation of the family to the SOS team, and said that the children did not attend school.
When 14-day-old Rania and her four brothers arrived at the SOS Children's Village everybody rushed to see her. They all wanted to hug and carry her. The SOS Mother was very enthusiastic about receiving the family in her house.
She spent hours preparing a delicious hot meal for the children, she worked wholeheartedly to prepare the house for them and was very excited about buying a cot for baby Rania who, for the first time in her life, was welcomed by a loving family. Rania is the youngest child in the village. She is the darling of everybody!
SOS Children's Villages Palestinian Territories
Hermann Gmeiner Street
Postal address: Hermann Gmeiner St. / Al-Karkafa
P.O.Box 227 +(137),
Tel: +972/22/742 267
Fax: +972/22/745 179