20 March 2003

Storage solution!

The response to the appeal for woollen blankets, warm clothing and classroom materials was swift and overwhelming. There is probably enough to fill two large shipping containers. However these cannot be sent until we have been registered as a charity and some stability and peace returns to the beleaguered people of the Gaza strip. A secure and large building was needed so that all the gifts can be sorted, boxed and stored. The way in had to be generous enough for a large lorry. The chitting shed (an old adapted building) at Burrow Farm, Broadclyst that has been offered by Joyce and Gordon Trump is ideal in every respect but we will have to watch for mice. Sue and David have known the Trumps since 1979 when they moved with their then small children to Broadclyst. As mentioned in the newsletter, the central aim from now on is to gather funds so they can be sent to Gaza for the manufacture of uniforms and school bags. The UNRWA schools are free but the poorest children often cannot go because they have no uniform, schoolbag or shoes. Paper, pencils etc can be purchased in Gaza and that will be another use for the money that is sent. Of course all sums that are sent will be accounted for properly as well as the manner in which it is spent in Gaza. The economy is shrinking fast and the unemployment rate is reported as being between 50 and 70%. Mr Peter Hansen, Commissioner General of the UN Relief and Works Agency has described the dire state of the population recently in the Guardian (article available on www.unitednations.org.uk