A mother's first thought when forced to flee her home is for the safety of her children. The last person she thinks about is herself. "We left when everybody else left the city in Khan Younis," says Awatef Abu Daqa. "We escaped with fear and nothing else." Most of the women say they end up with nothing but the clothes they were wearing when they fled.
Once in temporary shelters, many women realize they need personal hygiene items but are too shy or embarrassed to ask. The dignity kits are a welcome response to the personal needs of displaced women. The humanitarian relief kits contain toothbrush, toothpaste, towels, sanitary pads, spray, shampoo, two prayer dresses, underwear and soap.
Huda Abu Daqaa is from Khan Younis. She has three children, aged four, six and nine months. "We ran into the street with the three kids. We only packed a small bag as we rushed out of our home. We walked and walked and finally found one food truck picked us up and took us to a quieter place." Huda says all she took was milk and some diapers."
1,500 dignity kits
to displaced women all around Gaza.
She also brought her prayer dress but many women did not. So they were delighted to see the dignity kits included the two piece garment. "It is easy to wear and easy to escape with," said Huda. Another woman nearby added that it made it more dignified for her to discreetly breastfeed her baby in the crowded temporary shelters.
At the entrance of one of ANERA's local partner organizations in Gaza City, a group of women waited for a ride after they received their dignity kits. Despite their pale, sad faces and signs of exhaustion accumulated during more than six weeks of bombings, they all shared a sense of relief and appreciation for the aid packages that respond to their personal needs.