10 August 2010

The Dove and Dolphin. What is it up to?

We will shortly have a new web site which we hope you will appreciate and through, contribute
your thoughts and feelings. This summary of our activities and the context in which we work, will form part of our trustees report to the the Charity Commission.

1 Grants of $30 per month continued to be paid to bright, poor children in Gaza who were at secondary school level.
2 The Optics Centre expands and it is valued highly, especially by the charities that send children and adults for eye tests and the provision of spectacles. The charities cover the costs for some patients, these costs being about one third the commercial rate. Two optometrists are now employed.
3 The chairman wished to visit Palestine, and Gaza in particular, to review the activities of the Dove and Dolphin (D&D) and agree future projects but permission was not forthcoming from the occupying authority.
4 The D&D started the processes needed for its representative, Mr Nihad Taha, to visit the UK so that he could discuss future projects face to face, bring receipts and accounts, and attend a meeting of the trustees.
5 A large grant was made to the Al Jazeera (the Island) Sports Club. One of its central functions is to train disabled athletes up to international level. It was recognised by all that the very generous gift by the Alfulaij family had made this grant possible.
6 A more modest grant was made to the Turathona Charity in Jabaliya. This maintains the cultural history of Palestine and it employs young people in a variety of traditional and beautiful crafts.
7 A newsletter extending from the autumn of 2008 to January 2009 including the bombardment and invasion of Gaza, and its human aftermath was published. Newsletter No 10 is available on line at

Context in which the Charity works

The charity continues to meet its aims in ever more difficult and distressing conditions. The 1.5 million people in the Gaza strip have been under a siege since February 2006. That siege has become more complete. Food is in short supply and electricity is off for up to 22 hours per day. Medical services are stretched, with some adults and children dying for lack of sufficient equipment e.g. parts for renal dialysis machines and skilled manpower. Others are not being transferred out of Gaza for specialist medical treatment. Most men are without jobs, the unemployment rate being 50%. Most of the factories were bombed. At least 4000 homes were destroyed. No building and other materials for industry are being let in, and in particular steel reinforcing rods and cement. 80% of the population are living below the poverty line ie $1.5 per person per day. A large minority of the children (approx 30%) are malnourished as measured by stunting and suffering iron deficiency anaemia. The latter is present in the same proportion of mothers. Iron deficiency in the infant is believed to retard brain development.

The tenacity of Mr Nihad Taha, who represents the Dove and Dolphin in Gaza, and the day by day attentions of the chairman and trustees have meant well focused projects have gone forward. There is a fund of kindly support within Gaza for this charity. The charity is small but it has become widely known.

The charity is seen to be efficient and very closely concerned with the welfare of the people in Gaza, especially the children. Personal connections are maintained with those who support the charity in the UK. Thus, modest donations have continued to flow in.

We continue to be very effective in completing practical projects which help the poorest people and which are good value for money.

Comment. We all know however that what I say is true. 'Charity is no answer, whereas justice is.'

David Halpin Chairman of trustees