Face painting is my new jam!

Trip Start Jun 27, 2011
Trip End Sep 04, 2011

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What I did
Gaza Camp Summer Camp 2011

Flag of Jordan  , Irbid,
Saturday, July 9, 2011

Today I went with a few friends north of Amman to the Jerash Camp, Jordan, also called the Gaza Camp.  It is said to be the most run down of the refugee camps in Jordan and is the only one with out a sewer system.  Yup, meaning raw sewage runs down the sides of the streets. Did I mention it was over 100 degrees here today?   

 According to the UNRWA in 2009 approximately 20,000 people inhabit the 750-square-metre camp; the vast majority of them are refugees who were forced to leave mandate Palestine in 1948 and lived in the Gaza Strip until the 1967 War, when they fled to Jordan.  While most Palestine refugees have been granted Jordanian citizenship and enjoy the related full rights, ex-Gaza refugees do not enjoy such benefits. They are entitled to hold a temporary Jordanian passport, valid for two years. The limited validity of this passport severely hinders their travel and employment prospects abroad (http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/0/32e809d58271d0f4852575f30049892a?OpenDocument).

Today, however, was an exciting day!  It was the start/recruitment day of Gaza Camp Summer Camp 2011.  Some of my friends made flyers which were distributed in the souq, posted on buses etc.  We were still doing an inventory of donations from the Palestine Children's Relief Fund (PCRF) chapter in Dubai when kids started pouring in to the UNDP center we were using for the kick-off.  Armed with lots of colored pencils, markers, paper, marbles, futbols, face paint, balloons, etc. we got the kids excited about signing up for camp.  There were about 15 of us including the CDO staff and volunteers playing games, coloring, dancing and keeping the peace amongst about 120 children.  I was able to practice my arabic and Jordanian flag painting skills.  I met some really sharp children and young adults.  I am going to continue volunteering at Gaza camp on Saturdays.  Included are some pictures from our day!

Here is a link to the Gaza Camp Fitness Center: http://www.GazaCampFitnessCenter.org/


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