Posts Tagged Khan Younis

Freedom & Friendship Delegation Project #2 Basma Smile Centre

Posted by on Tuesday, 18 September, 2012


To donate to this project via credit card or paypal go HERE

Some of the beautiful children getting help from the Basma Smile Centre

In March of this year Irish Friends of Palestine traveled to Gaza and visited the Basma Centre where we met with Mr. Anwar Abu Mosa and Raida Abu Hamad who run the Centre and as part of our special friendship with Khan Younis we undertook to spread the word about the Centre and to ask the Irish people to help the children who are attending the centre.

March 2012 Irish Friends of PalestineDelegation meeting with Basma Centre in Khan Younis.

Hearing your mothers voice is something we all pretty much take for granted. Hearing your child say your name is also something most of us take for granted.

Staff and some of the Children at the Centre during a therapy class

The Al Basma Smile Center for Audiology & Speech Therapy carrys out critical work in the areas of Cochlear Implants, speech therapy and testing. They are also responsible for surgical pre-care and aftercare of children who receive Cochlear Implants. The Centre is run on donations and has a small staff and amazing volunteers who dedicate themselves to helping deaf children in Gaza have the ability to communicate. For those children who are able to benefit from Cochlear Implants, the center carries out this task in conjunction with a visiting Surgeon who performs the surgical operation in a Gaza hosptial. The Center also tests for early detection of hearing problems or speech disorders which when uncovered allows the Center to immediately get that child into one of the Centre’s programs to assist their individual needs.

In Gaza there are beautiful children in need of your help and support for Cochlear Implants, and/or parts and Batteries to keep the implants running.

The Cochlear implant needs batteries to keep them working, due to the siege these are hard to come by. Please donate so that this chiild and others like him can keep hearing

The device is surgically implanted under a general anesthetic, and the operation usually takes from 1½ to 5 hours. First a small area of the scalp directly behind the ear may be shaved and cleaned. Then an incision is made in the skin behind the ear and the surgeon drills into the mastoid bone, creating a pocket for the receiver/stimulator, and then into the inner ear where the electrode array is inserted into the cochlea. The patient normally goes home the same day or the day after the surgery, although some cochlear implant recipients stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days. As with every medical procedure, the surgery involves a certain amount of risk

After 1–4 weeks of healing (the wait is usually longer for children than adults), the implant is “activated” by connecting an external sound processor to the internal device via a magnet. Initial results vary widely, and post-implantation therapy is required as well as time for the brain to adapt to hearing new sounds. In the case of congenitally deaf children, audiological training and speech therapy typically continue for years, though infants can become age appropriate—able to speak and understand at the same level as a hearing child of the same age. The participation of the child’s family in working on spoken language development is considered to be even more important than therapy, because the family can aid development by participating actively—and continually—in the child’s therapy, making hearing and listening interesting, talking about objects and actions, and encouraging the child to make sounds and form words. Professionals trained to work with children who have received cochlear implants are a major part of the parent-professional team when addressing the task of teaching children to use their hearing to develop speech and spoken language. These professionals include, but are not limited to:

Speech-Language Pathologists
Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapists
Pediatric Audiologist
Teacher of the Deaf with a specialization in Oral Deaf Education

The above services are supplied by the Basma Centre and it’s staff thanks to Donations, but Donations are becoming harder to get due to the siege and children are in need of parts and batteries for their implants. The specialist implantation surgeon does not reside inside Gaza, he travels into Gaza and carries out surgical cochlear implantation on several children each time he visits, then he leaves Gaza and the children’s aftercare is left to the Basma centre and it’s volunteer Staff.

Children learning to sign

All the pre-care and after care and speech therapy and Audiology work is a monumental task for such a small center to handle, much of their the equipment is old and outdated and even the newer stuff needs parts. This is a direct result of the siege and the fact that within Gaza people are poor and our of work, again due to the siege, and so the Centre has to look outside Gaza for donations.

With your help, Irish Friends of Palestine will deliver funds and parts to Al Basma which will help the centre to continue to deliver Cochlear implants to children, so they can have the gift of hearing and speech.

Imagine for one minute that you can directly be responsible for helping a child in Gaza to hear their mothers voice for the very first time! How amazing is that????

He will now hear his mothers voice for the first time. He will also learn to speak and live a normal life. He is a lucky one, others like him need your help to hear and speak. Gaza is under siege, please help these beautiful children

We will issue a report along with photos when we deliver the donation to the Centre in late October/Early November

Show some love for these kids:


You can support our endeavours to deliver an Electric Wheelchair to Ibrahim by making a donation to our group.
You can make a standing order for any amount, or a bank transfer can be sent via:

Bank of Ireland
account# 45463260
Sort Code 90 49 74
Strand Road, Derry

Cheques can be sent:

Irish Friends of Palestine
C/O Destined
45 Great James Street
Derry, BT48 7DF

Freedom & Friendship Irish Delegation Returns to Ireland

Posted by on Friday, 13 April, 2012

Big Greetings from Hassan Salama School Gaza

Tuesday 10th April 2012
For Immediate Use

Irish Freedom & Friendship Delegation to Gaza a resounding success

Local Derry/Irish Friends of Palestine delegates returned from the first Irish “Freedom and Friendship Delegation” to Gaza promising to redouble their efforts to build links with our sister city of Khan Younis and to support the people of Gaza by continuing with more delegations in future.

Delegates from Irish Friends of Palestine were Gerry MacLochlainn delegation leader & Charlie McMenamin activist (both former Irish Political Prisoners), Ruairi McLaughlin, Mickey McCrossan, Alanna Campbell and Cathal Og Donnelly (Students and members of Sinn Fein Republican Youth), activist Liam McConway and Freedom & Friendship Delegation organiser Sinead MacLochlainn.

Speaking on arrival home, Derry/Irish Friends of Palestine Chairperson Sinead MacLochlainn said:

“Our delegation was hosted by the Mayor of Khan Younis Mr. Mohammed Al Farra, and the Municipality of Khan Younis, who so graciously offered us the most incredible hospitality, given the current conditions in Gaza which remains under a brutal blockade by Israel. Mayor Al Farra received us on our arrival and ensured a packed programme of visits and meetings with all aspects of society throughout Khan Younis and Gaza City.”

Delegation pictured with Mayor Mohammed Al Farra of Khan Younis, Palestine

“The main purpose of the delegation was to build educational links with the Ministry of Education and HIgher Education and University students. As such our Delegation was received by the heads of some of the main Universities in the Gaza strip, including the Islamic University of Gaza, Al Aqsa University (both the Gaza and Khan Younis Campus) and Khan Younis College of Science and Technology. Despite the siege and lack of electricity or fuel, we were impressed to learn that some 40% of young people in Gaza have access to further or higher education and some 60% of these students are women.”

“The Delegation was invited to a lunch at the Ministry of Education where we were greeted by Mr. Ahmed Ayesh Alnajjar the Director of International and Public Relations of Ministry of Education and Higher Education on behalf of Dr. Osama Elmozini the Minister of Education and Higher Education. The Student leaders on our Delegation were presented with a beautiful Plaque from the Ministry of Education to be presented to the Minister of Education here in the North of Ireland. Additionally a Plaque was also give the the Delegation itself in appreciation of the Educational links being created between Ireland and Gaza.

Plaque Presented to Student Leaders, Alanna Campbell, Ruairi McLaughlin, Mickey McCrossan and Cathal Og Donnelly

“Members of the Irish Delegation also met with representatives of the main political parties in Palestine, including Dr. Hisham Abdelrazic the Fateh leader in Gaza, and Dr. Yousef Al-Mansi, One of Hamas leaders and also the Minister of Telecommunication in the Gaza Government and finally Dr. Ahmed Bahar, Deputy Speaker of the Palestine Legislative Council.”

“In Khan Younis we visited the site of a large play park and International Garden area which is still under construction, here the student delegates joined local families in a soccer game with an idyllic view of the Mediterranean sea in the background. The Students played ball with local children at the park. Even here the realities of Israeli occupation were evident with armed Israeli drones and F-16 fighter planes flying over head. During our stay the F-16’s were our alarm clocks and the early morning call as they criss-crossed Gaza skies terrorising the population. They also dropped leaflets warning that anyone who went to within 300m of the border would be shot. Welcome to life in Palestine.”

“Visiting the packed refugee camps bears witness to the reality of life for many poor or homeless people in Gaza. Many of them had once been in full-time employment before the blockade, still others had their homes destroyed by Israel. Up to 4 generations all living in a 6 by 6 metre shed with broken walls, collapsed roofs and dirt floors with sewage problems. And still they smile at us for visiting them, this is the unbreakable spirit of Palestine!”

Delegation meeting with familly in Refugee Camp

“On our last morning as we had our breakfast we were again reminded of the realities of life for the innocent civilians of Gaza. Fishermen in small wooden crafts who attempt to gather the ever shrinking available fish which swim in the three kilometres of their own waters, the only place that Israel allows them to fish, were to come under fire from Israeli naval ships. We could hear the heavy naval canons interspersed with the pulse of heavy machine guns. We were left wondering if we’d be hearing of yet another fishermen killed for trying to support his family.”

“We also learned that three young children had been burned to death during the night while attempting to read and study by candlelight. The candle fell over and they were trapped in their bedroom, God help them, all that was left of the three children were the scorched books on the floor which they had been studying from. Yet more tiny victims of the collective punishment siege as Israel only allows 6 hours of electricity each day, these few hours can come at any time even in the middle of the night when the population is asleep, so many students rely on dangerous burning candles to study! Myself and Ogra Alanna Campbell of Coalisland attended the children’s wake with other local women. Their Mother came over and handed me her last remaining child to hold in my arms as we cried together. The tiny 3 month old baby sister who was the only survivor, found under a pile of blankets which somehow managed to save her little life by protecting her from the smoke and flames which consumed her 3 siblings.”

“Leaving we were all very silent heading to Rafah to cross back into Egypt and then home to Ireland, just trying to absorb the gravity of what we had all witnessed for the last 8 days. But we pledged we would do all we can to support our friends in Gaza and to tell their stories to the world. Therefore Irish Friends of Palestine and Derry Frinds of Palestine will continue with more Freedom & Friendship Irish Delegations to Gaza until the murderous siege is lifted!”

some of those inculded are:
Ministry of Education and HIgher Education
Islamic University of Gaza
Al Aqsa University
Khan Younis College of Science and Technology
Jabalia Martyrs Primary School
Refugee camps, meeting the poor and homeless
Global March to Jerusalem/Land Day Events
Khan Younis meetings
Political Meetings with Fateh, Hamas, and the PLC
Ministry of Youth and Sport
Effects of the Siege First Hand
Gaza Harbour
Local Weekly Prisoner Protests
Prisoners and their Families
UFREE Prisoners Conference Gaza City
Ethar Initiative
Emaar & Albasmah Centre
Khan Younis Park and Garden Development
plus much more…..