Middle East Emergency
UMCOR has years of experience in working with refugees in the Middle East and in assisting families and individuals affected by periodic wars.
UMCOR is helping teachers in Kurdistan teach art and culture-based subjects to students in various primary schools through the Rawshan Children At Risk Project. The project consists of a group of teachers who travel to various schools and teach art courses for 15 to 25 day periods. Students are instructed in painting, drama, photography and writing. Rawshan, a children’s publishing house, showcases the children’s artwork, photographs and articles in its Kaper magazine published by Spirez Publishing.
The program incorporates a variety of objectives including democratization, gender equality and human rights. Teachers are persuaded to give as many children a chance to participate and those with learning difficulties or disabilities are encouraged to attend. Through these artistic activities, psychosocial awareness is raised and child development is being fostered —while advocating children’s rights. The children are encouraged to consider their role in society and participate in their community and the democratic process.
UMCOR is achieving peace among interfaith students in Israel through The Violence Prevention Plan for Schools program, operated through The Jerusalem International YMCA. The program is working to help children, teachers and staff increase their awareness on security issues, interfaith acceptance and implement non-violent alternatives that foster respect and tolerance. This is achieved through a variety of group dynamics and activities that help students learn communication, conflict resolution, team building, and leadership skills.
The teachers work with secondary school students comprised of both males and females of Muslim and Christian faiths—from various neighborhoods and families. Feelings of insecurity and safety issues are identified and addressed through games and group activities. The students learn that they have a right to speak, a right to listen, as well as the right to be safe during the diverse group settings. The students come away with increased communication and leadership skills and are helping set the stage for a safe and healthy future school environment—alleviating violent aggression between the two religious groups.
UMCOR is also working to bring relief in Palestine where blockage of funds following the January 2007 elections in Palestine has resulted in a lack of basic necessities in this conflicted region. Those who suffer the most tend to be the area's poorest populations. UMCOR is helping to supply aid through ACT International partner organizations already at work in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Food, health care, and educational assistance are being provided.
How You Can Help
Your gifts can help programs like these succeed and help give children of all faiths the freedom to express themselves with dignity. Please give to UMCOR Advance #601740, Middle East Emergency support UMCOR's efforts to bring relief to this troubled region.
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