In January 2008, I began my journey with Anera. I call it a journey, because that is exactly what I’ve been doing in my job as an in-kind field assistant, delivering medicine in the West Bank.
I am on the road all day traveling between Hebron down south and up north to Jenin, to visit medical centers, clinics and hospitals.
My car is my companion and co-worker. That white manual Peugeot Partner has endured me and my hefty boxes of medicinal supplies for seven years. It has helped me deliver vital medicines to anxious partners and life-saving medications that benefited children and adults alike.
I take good care of my car and it hasn’t failed me yet, except for an occasional flat tire or a few problems with the air-conditioning. I admit that was not pleasant when I found myself stranded in a remote area on the outskirts of Hebron with the outside temperature hovering at 104 °F degrees! But, other than that, we’re a good team.
One might think it’s quite draining to be constantly moving around from place to place every day. It’s true. But, the travel has its benefits too. Our in-kind manager and pharmacist Hani Kleif knows what I mean. He spends his work day in our warehouse, mostly glued to his computer and surrounded by piles of huge boxes.
I think I got the better job. Why? Because I get to talk face-to-face with our partners and the patients we help. I get to see their faces light up when I deliver a box of critical medicines they’ve run out of. I see and feel their relief as they place the newly delivered medicine bottles on once empty shelves. I can watch a sick person smile again as the doctor lets them know their health problem is treatable and they just need to ask the pharmacist for the medicine, which will be free, thanks to my deliveries. And, I know that these patients now have a strong shoulder to lean on in their darkest hours of need.
Our in-kind program has lent a helping hand to people in need since 1983. And it has enabled people like me and Hani, to be part of it. How much more fortunate can we be?
I only wish that all our in-kind partners and donors could visit us and see first-hand the tremendous impact they’ve had on the lives of thousands of men, women and children, to see what we see and feel our accomplishments and our joy.
…It gives me no greater joy than to know that my neighbors and their loved ones are not forgotten.
Personally, every accomplishment makes me feel more deeply rooted in Palestine. I come from the town of Idhna in Hebron, and it makes me proud to work with an organization that has repeatedly helped my town and reached out to its most needy and marginalized residents.
I feel blessed to be able to directly serve my own community and it gives me no greater joy than to know that my neighbors and their loved ones are not forgotten. Our team delivers more than just boxes of medicines. We deliver care and love directly from our hearts, from one heart to another.