3 DAYS LEFT - PLEASE BACK US NOW
**# UPDATE #** Thank you so so so much everyone for all your support so far!!! Although we have passed our minimum goal, we ask you to keep donating, sharing and informing all your friends about this project. Kickstarter’s rules state a campaign must make the entire goal or nothing, so we initially and quite nervously chose the absolute minimum to get us over there, on a dangerously tight budget.
The more money we can raise, the safer the trip will be for us: we will be able to hire flak jackets, helmets, stay in the more expensive but safer ‘journalist hotel’, hire a professional fixer who knows how to guide journalists around the conflict and afford one of the best (safest) drivers. It will also allow us to buy more cameras to give to the kids, and mean that everyone gets more out of the project. If we raise enough, it would also allow us to stay longer in the region and visit more organisations working with children.
So please help us make this project safer and give us the resources to make the most out of our trip and bring international exposure to these amazing charities. **# END #**
NEW T-SHIRT DESIGN FOR OUR KIND PLEDGES:
Please watch this interview with Saskia Marsh, trustee of Hope and Play and former UN official, for background and insight into the charity's work.
Join our facebook group and follow us on Twitter for updates:https://www.facebook.com/groups/680543688698618/?fref=ts / ;https://twitter.com/Hope_In_Gaza
Our project, Dispatch: Hope in Gaza, is not an attempt to find evidence to apportion blame, or to recommend solutions to this conflict. This apolitical project is designed to give an experienced journalist and photographer the time and financial resources to travel to Gaza and give attention to those who are often the biggest victims of conflict – children.
We will spend our time in Gaza exploring the effects the war has had on children in the region, documenting the work that organisations are doing to alleviate their suffering and most importantly visualise the hope and resilience of Gaza's youth. This will give much needed credit and exposure to these organisations and help them with their operations.
We will also be taking cameras with us on our trip, to give to the children and with training from Grey, give them the opportunity to document their surroundings. Copies of their images will be brought back to form an exhibition in London and other locations.
This project is especially important right now in Gaza, where during the most recent conflict, over 400 children have been killed, of which more than 70% were 12 years old or younger. Several UN schools have been bombed and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that over 373,000 children have suffered some kind of direct traumatic experience and are in need of immediate psycho-social support.
"How do we expect parents and caregivers to care for their children and to raise them in a positive and nurturing way when they themselves are barely functioning as humans? People have lost entire strands of their family in one blow. How can a society cope with this? This is a deep, deep, deep wound," said Pernille Ironside, head of UNICEF in Gaza.
"If you're over the age of seven, you've already lived through two previous wars, and the latest escalation was far worse than those in 2008-9 and 2012. It is an extraordinary thing to live through, and especially to survive and witness the use of incredibly damaging weapons that tend to slice people with terrible amputations and maiming, shredding people apart in front of children's eyes and in front of their parents as well”.
Over half of the population in Gaza is under 18. Members of this generation have grown up amid extreme violence, routinely losing family members and witnessing the destruction of their schools and homes. In other words, this is a heavily traumatised generation.
Fortunately there are a number of organizations working, often with little resources, to alleviate the trauma these children are enduring. One of these organizations is Hope and Play, which has kindly agreed to facilitate Dispatch: Hope in Gaza and help us to spend time with the children trapped in this grueling conflict.
Hope and Play was set up to help traumatised children get back into mainstream education. It provides psycho-social support to youth suffering the effects of conflict-related trauma, and provides supplementary education to strengthen their Arabic and Maths skills as well conducting therapeutic arts, crafts, and poetry and drama classes.
Hope and Play also strives to support other apolitical grassroots organizations in Gaza and provide short-term employment and work experience to 10 recently graduated psychology teachers in each of their programs. The emphasis is on investing in the teachers so they improve their support to children in their community.
Hope and Play’s local partner, The Canaan Institute, has worked with 400,000 plus young people in Gaza since 1997. During 2007-2008, Canaan partnered with the United Nations to run a recreation programme for 250,000 children in Gaza each summer. The values of the Institute are embodied by its director, Issa Saaba. Issa – one of the few apolitical actors still respected across Gaza – has tirelessly advocated for the rights, but also the responsibilities, of Gaza’s youth for the past 25 years.
Hope and Play Founders: “The vast majority of Palestinians remain committed to a better future free of violence. Young Gazans must continue to uphold these values if there is to be peace in the Middle East. That is why providing Gaza’s kids with learning and enjoyment, fostering open mind-sets and lessening the psychological impact of conflict is so important.”
Unfortunately, despite our experience in journalism, dwindling budgets for international reporting means resources are scarce for such a project. With your help, we are planning to travel to Gaza as soon as possible in order to submit reports to international publications and bring exposure to the work of Hope and Play and the children they work with. We will also take cameras with us, and bring copies back of the children's photographs for an exhibition.
For more information about Hope and Play please visit their website http://www.hopeandplay.org/ and like their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/hopeandplay. Hope and Play is a UK registered charity (registrationnumber 1125609) Info@hopeandplay.org
So PLEASE donate NOW and help make 'Dispatch: Hope in Gaza' a reality...
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Risks and challenges
One risk is that we will be prevented by the Israeli government from entering Gaza. To minimise this risk, Will and Grey have been in contact with journalists from major news outlets currently operating in the region who have years of experience getting into Gaza during tense times. We will be using our press cards and have already been in contact with the Israeli government's Office of Press who have said it will only take 3 days once we register to get clearance to enter Gaza.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (18 days)