Al Zohoor preschool in northern Gaza is a participant in Anera’s Milk for Preschoolers Program.
Classes at Al Zohoor have resumed and the children are receiving their daily snacks of vitamin-fortified milk and biscuits, but on a recent visit, Anera’s Gaza staff noticed something was missing: book bags.
For many of these students, most if not all of their belongings are lost under the rubble of their destroyed homes. So they have been using old rice bags to carry their school supplies.
In an effort to bring some joy back to these children, each of Anera’s Gaza staff donated enough money to replace the missing book bags. In the end there was enough to purchase colored stickers, crayons and notebooks for all of the 169 children of the preschool.
In addition, other children in Gaza heard of the preschoolers without book bags at Al Zohoor and donated extra bags of their own. These children who have little to nothing wanted to donate to other children in Gaza who have lost everything.
As the preschoolers of Al Zohoor received their gifts they were happy that they will not have to put their school supplies in rice bags anymore.
Through these small gifts, their confidence was restored and much of the fear, confusion and tears of the last six weeks were exchanged for joy, laughter and smiles.
Bill Corcoran, Anera’s president, who joined the MfP team in distributing the schoolbags, proudly commented to the Gaza team, “Today you made everyone at the preschool happy. This story shows that the Anera community spans from grandmothers in California to seven-year-olds in Gaza.”