A cross-border initiative to provide sanitation for displaced Gazans

Two women, one Israeli and one Palestinian, who live in Germany have launched a fundraiser to buy toilets, showers and tents for the people who have been forced to flee their homes in Gaza due to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

The war in Gaza, which started on October 7, 2023, after Hamas attacked Israel with rockets and sent 3,000 terrorists across the border, has caused a humanitarian crisis for the 2.3 million people who live in the coastal enclave. More than 1,800 Palestinians have been killed, including more than 400 children, and more than 10,000 have been injured by the Israeli airstrikes and shelling. About 65,000 people have been displaced and are staying in UN-run schools or other shelters.

The war has also damaged the infrastructure and services in Gaza, such as water, electricity, health and sanitation. The UN has warned of the risk of outbreaks of diseases, especially among children, due to the lack of clean water and hygiene facilities. Cases of diarrhea have reportedly increased among children, according to UNICEF.

The displaced Gazans have been living in overcrowded and squalid conditions, with little access to basic necessities and medical care. They are also exposed to the ongoing violence and insecurity, as the war has not stopped despite several attempts to broker a ceasefire.

The fundraiser to build toilets for Gazans

To provide some relief to the suffering Gazans, Tom Kellner and Seba Abu Daqa decided to start a fundraiser to buy sanitary equipment for the displaced people’s camps in Gaza. Kellner is an Israeli who grew up in Western Galilee and moved to Germany in 2016. Abu Daqa is a Palestinian who was born and raised in Gaza and moved to Germany in 2018.

The two women met through a mutual friend and bonded over their shared concern for the situation in Gaza. They decided to use their networks and social media platforms to raise money and awareness for the cause. They set up a GoFundMe page and a Facebook group, where they post updates and photos of their project.

Their goal is to buy toilets, showers and tents from a local company in Gaza, called Gaza Life Power, which specializes in building sanitation facilities for displaced people. The company uses materials that are already available in Gaza, so there is no need to import anything from outside. The company also employs local workers, who are paid fair wages and provided with protective equipment.

The fundraiser has received a positive response from people around the world, who have donated more than €20,000 so far. The money has been used to build 50 toilets, 10 showers and 10 tents in three different camps in southern Gaza, where more than 2,000 people are staying. The fundraiser is still ongoing and aims to reach more camps and more people in need.

The message of hope and solidarity

Kellner and Abu Daqa said that their fundraiser is not only about providing sanitation for Gazans, but also about sending a message of hope and solidarity to the people who are suffering. They said that they want to show that there are people who care about them and who are willing to help them, regardless of their nationality, religion or political affiliation.

They also said that they want to show that there is a possibility of coexistence and cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians, even in times of war and conflict. They said that they believe that peace and justice can be achieved through dialogue and mutual understanding, not through violence and hatred.

They said that they hope that their initiative will inspire others to join them or to start their own projects to help the people in Gaza. They said that they believe that every small act of kindness can make a difference and can create a positive change in the world.

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