Poverty and unemployment are not the only burdens that have weighed down families in Idhna village, in the Hebron district of the West Bank.
Sadly, there are many hardships for Palestinians living in Idhna.
- Idhna has no reliable sewage system
- Water cisterns, used when Israel-controlled water supplies are inconsistent, are subject to contamination
- There is no hospital in the town; instead, residents rely mainly on charitable clinics and medical centers
- Not enough classrooms exist for students in the town, which has necessitated renting classrooms and scheduling evening classes.
Anera has reached out to the town, attempting to ease some of its daily hardships by addressing its water and sanitation issues, responding to health care needs, and cultivating early childhood development.
Prior to Anera’s work in the West Bank village, Idhna suffered from a scarcity of clean water due to old, unreliable pipes. In 2006, Anera replaced a water main and a rusted network that had deteriorated in order to prevent further contamination and loss of water. This was a high-priority project because the town had endured many water-related health issues, especially from water pollution.
A few years later, Anera successfully completed other health projects as part of a USAID-funded program. A highlight from this program was the rehabilitation and remodeling of the Idhna Government Clinic. Anera added a new floor to house a laboratory, pharmacy and vaccination room. The project also created many much-needed jobs in the town.
Fostering Early Childhood Development
In partnership with ministries, non-profits and training organizations, Anera’s early childhood development program reaches scores of preschools across Palestine. The Idhna Preschool is typical of the kind of school participating.
Idhna Preschool is located in a remote, underserved area and operates on a shoe-string budget. The facilities were worn down and in many cases unsafe — peeling paint, dangerous playground equipment, unsanitary and dark toilets.
With funding from Dubai Cares, Anera completely changed the conditions at the school. Windows were added, classrooms widened and painted in pastels, new curtains and Anera-designed furniture provided, a reading corner set up with a new library of books, and new toilets and playground equipment installed.
In addition to school infrastructure, Anera is training and mentoring the three teachers in applying good early childhood development practices in their classrooms. Parents are also actively encouraged to participate in special training sessions to help them improve their knowledge and awareness of the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive needs of their children.
Since Anera began working with Idhna Preschool in 2013, enrollment doubled, with 95 children now attending.
Delivering Donated Medicines
Anera’s continuous in-kind support—supplying critical medicinal and medical supplies—has helped Idhna’s health workers treat residents with various disease and infections.
In April 2015, Anera delivered a vital donation of Omeprazole to a medical center that operates as the town’s only emergency medical care provider. This is an important medication used to treat gastric patients and, coupled with antibiotics, gastric ulcers.
In Idhna, gastrointestinal infection is common. Dr. Ismail Tmaizi, a doctor at the charitable clinic, explains, “By infecting our water, parasites are affecting the quality of life and wearing us out. I’ve treated several cases of parasite infections among children and adults alike, sometimes several times over. “
Idhna lacks a hospital, so the residents depend entirely on charitable clinics and medical centers. This increases the financial burden of these centers.
Without donated medicines, we would not be able to operate efficiently because constantly buying medicines drains us financially.
“Without donated medicines, we would not be able to operate efficiently because constantly buying medicines drains us financially,” says Dr. Tmaizi. Anera delivers more than one third of this center’s medicines, thanks to a generous community of donors. The medicines are distributed to patients free of charge.
Dr. Tmaizi says Anera’s donations allow health centers to allocate what money is available to maintain their facilities and expand services, knowing that their needy patients are getting the best treatment at no cost. The medical center also offers outreach services, community health awareness sessions, volunteer work and various community activities