In northern Gaza there’s a small but dense village called Bedouin Village. In 2008, sewage flooded the village. Many people died and residents are still suffering.
These calamities are worse for the Bedouin children, who were most likely to die from common childhood ailments like diarrhea, anemia and malnutrition. They were also vulnerable to respiratory infections as they were exposed, barefooted and hungry, to cold weather.
Five-year-old Ayman and his family live in the village. He attends El-Ikhlas Preschool, a participant in Anera’s Milk for Preschoolers Program which has delivered a free fortified snack of milk and biscuits every day of the 2008-2009 school year.
“The main meal for Ayman and my other kids is bread and tea…We eat meat one time every three months. Even bones are very expensive,” said Ayman’s mother. Anera’s snack is Ayman’s only regular meal with vitamins.
“Now the kids are supposedly enjoying their winter break, although I think most of them are counting down days to come back to school. They keep asking and waiting for the milk and the biscuits,” said Ms. Ferwana, the preschool’s director.
The Milk for Preschoolers program has supplied 20,000 children in 164 Gaza preschools during the 2006-2007 school year alone.