A message from Donna Baranski-Walker, Executive Director of Rebuilding Alliance:
Happy Thanksgiving! Rebuilding Alliance successfully sent 3,888 backpack kits, school supplies, and children’s books to Gaza and the shipment recently arrived.
Rebuilding Alliance knows how to get things in. We know how to negotiate the long bureaucratic and political process that allows selected shipments to enter Gaza through Israel’s blockade. We are already beginning the pre-clearance process to send a container of solar-powered Luci Lights to childen so they can do their homework, read, and play safely when the electricity is out.
But first Rebuilding Alliance must successfully distribute our backpack kits to children in need.
My permit to enter Gaza was just approved. I fly to Amman Jordan next week to cross Israel and go through the Erez checkpoint into Gaza. I will work with our Non Governmental Organization (NGO) partners to deliver the backpack kits to children at 16 schools in the most impacted areas of Gaza. Sounds clear enough. God is in the details.
NGO assistance is key to assuring both Rebuilding Alliance’s compliance with the US Patriot Act and the success of the project. DanChurchAid and the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme are hosting my visit. The American International School in Gaza and the Al Basma Club for the Disabled also promised to help with distribution.
I learned something important in 2004, when I visited Gaza to begin the planning for the rebuilding of a home for the Rafah Gaza family whom the American Rachel Corrie sought to protect. Rachel had been staying with the Nasrallah family, and their home was directly behind her that day when she was crushed by the Israeli Army’s Caterpillar D9 Bulldozer. Craig and Cindy Corrie, Rachel’s parents became founding board members of Rebuilding Alliance. We rebuilt a home for the Nasrallah family and still hope to help with rebuilding that neighborhood where 2200 homes were demolished in 2003.
Khaled Nasrallah in Rafah, Gaza taught me the way to approach our work there, “Set a clear goal. Even though you don’t know how to get there, you’ll know the next two steps, and as you take those steps, you’ll know the next, and the next — and in that way, you will reach your goal.”
I look forward to sharing these next steps with you, day by day, step by step.