12 April 2004

We must be as cheerfully resilient as the folk in Palestine.

David's other half - Adli Hammad - returned to visit Andrea and their children in March. He spent time with Abu-Ali who kindly ran the distribution of the goods sent in the first container. About 95% of the clothing was found to be up to scratch. There are many photos of happy children.

Adli did a great deal of sorting in his time there. He brought beautiful sample uniforms made by the Association of Young Muslim Women, which I was introduced to last September. The cost of say a kindergarten girl's uniform to us would be 30 shekels. At the current exchange rate of £1 to 8.273 shekels that price of £4 must be good value.

He also brought 2 samples of school bags that have been made in Gaza in a strong and waterproof material. These will cost 25 shekels. They will have a dove and dolphin logo on the back. Each will be filled with 35 shekels worth of pens and pencils, writing books etc. Finally, there will be a small individual present for each boy and girl.

We will place an order for a range of uniforms and the school bags sometime in May so that all is ready for 1 September. These gifts will bring some smiles and some employment.

Another initiative, among others, is the sponsorship of scholars. A young teacher, Louise Bould, expressed a wish to do this and the standing order she made for £15 per month has already been transferred to our Gaza account. A thirteen year old boy called Hammad is now receiving this welcome and generous support. His picture is attached. His family should benefit as well. We hope that other people might come forward to give support to other struggling youngsters, most of whom are keen to learn.