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islamirama
10-02-2007, 08:36 PM
Dozens Of Palestinians Sift Through Rubbish Tips To Survive

For some West Bank Palestinians rubbish has become not only a livelihood but the only method of survival they know. Many dozens of Palestinians across the territory, including children, work at landfill sites, trying to earn a meager living.

"This is very hard work here. My hands are all cut up, it smells. But what can I do? There's no work in Ramallah," said Muhammad, from al-Bireh, a nearby town.

Aged 43, he has worked for the last 30 years -- apart from a stint in jail -- in the Psagot landfill site, sifting through the rubbish in search of scrap metal.

Muhammed, like the other 40 or so workers, including 20 children, is not officially employed by anyone, but he sells what he can to dealers he knows.

Another man, Akram, aged 32, drives the tractor which takes the scrap away to the dealers. He, like the others, works at the site from early morning until dusk.

"I was a regular truck driver. But then I lost my job. This was the only work I could find, working with the rubbish," he told IRIN as he revved his engine to cart away an industrial fan and leftover beams from a building project.

Child labor, illiteracy

Two children, happy with their luck, found the fan, which came on a newly arrived dump truck, and dragged it over to Akram.

"None of the children here can write. They can't read. They never spent any time at school," said Muhammad.

Shadi, who first claimed he was 16 and then said he was 12, became enraged at Muhammad's accusation.

"I can write," he screamed, and began to sketch his name, in Arabic, in the sand. However, it soon became clear this was the only word he knew and he could not recognize individual characters. The other children did not even try.

When asked why he did not attend school, Shadi said: "My father is sick. I have a big family and someone needs to support them. I left school after one year to work here."

Legal issues

The Psagot site is named after the nearby Israeli settlement on the outskirts of Ramallah. Mostly, the landfill is used by Israeli trucks bringing in refuse from settlements or towns inside Israel.

"There is much more garbage from Israel than from the Palestinians. Much, much more," said Muhammad.

Health threats

Vultures glide overhead, waiting to grab whatever the workers do not.

In the summer, the heat bakes the garbage, sending a vile smell through the air, which sticks to the workers. While some have families, others realize their line of work may not help their personal lives.

"I don't think I will get married," said Ahmed, aged 20. He said the smell never comes off.

In the winter, the workers fight the cold, rain, wind and frost to carry out their work. This is particularly hard since the metals they collect get very cold. A few live in shacks on the site, as they have nowhere else to go.

Besides the elements, the workers face other dangers.

"The children suffer greatly," said Ahmed Qunnam, a public health expert and medical doctor, who volunteers with the Palestine Red Crescent Society. "Psychologically speaking, they have no normal social system. Also, they don't eat right and they don't develop properly. They work all day, overexerting themselves. And the sites are extremely unhygienic."

At the Psagot site, for example, the workers found a can of olives. It was immediately opened and devoured, although the expiry date had long passed and the hands used to eat were the same ones used to sift the rubbish.

"This whole thing, it just ruins them for later in life. They are losing their childhood," said Qunnam. "It is easy for them to get into drugs."

The workers also face threats from other people's drug use. While sifting through the rubbish, it is not uncommon to find syringes. "They can get HIV or hepatitis," Qunnam said.

He thinks the Palestinian Authority (PA) must do more for the children, but said it is hard for the PA to exert control over Area C -- where the sites are -- which remained under Israeli security control, according to the Oslo accords.

Ibrahim Atieh, from the Palestinian Ministry of Health, said the number of children at the landfills was proportionately much smaller than in neighboring countries. "But, this is a very difficult, painful issue. Who knows what diseases they can get," he told IRIN.

"There is no PA [Palestinian Authority] program to stop this phenomenon right now, but maybe in the future," he said.

This item comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian news and information service, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. All IRIN material may be reposted or reprinted free-of-charge; refer to the copyright page for conditions of use. IRIN is a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Source: http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9018.shtml


How you can help:
volunteer based Palestinian child welfare charity - http://www.pcwf.org/
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Zarmina
10-03-2007, 04:36 AM
So sad... it's not just the Palestinians. Millions of Afghans in Afghanistan don't have anything as well. :cry:
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north_malaysian
10-03-2007, 08:02 AM
Talking about the Palestinians and Darfuris...:cry:
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syilla
10-03-2007, 08:25 AM
There's a picture in Ramadhan pictures thread showing two girls going through the garbage.
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islamirama
10-03-2007, 03:43 PM
How you can help:
Donate to Palestinian children’s welfare fund - http://www.pcwf.org/

Below is a picture of a man eating from garbage..next to him..are the pictures of a family that we helped by buying a fishing boat for them to fish and eat and live with dignity....please feel free to share the pictures with your friends and asking them to help us give the children of Palestine some hope..more pictures of our work in Palestine are after those pictures and you can see them for yourself by clicking below..

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8914880@N05/

“PCWF distributes money only to bank accounts of children, we DO NOT distribute cash to anyone and keep records of any and all our spending and income and work with the Palestine Red Crescent Society, Middle East Children's Alliance and other US based and Palestine based organization and have absolutely no legal problems in the US or any other country in the world.

As for donations, you can go to our website and find the button under the “sponsor a child" page and you can donate there if you wish (via paypal). Also, you can send your donation by a check favoring pcwf to the address which is listed on the bottom of this page, if you are in the US.”

Riad Hamad
Palestine Children's Welfare Fund

201 W. Stassney # 201
Austin, Texas 78745

Support the children of Palestine by buying Palestinian arts and crafts.
Sustain the Palestinian economy and provide jobs for the men, women and farmers in Palestine to live with pride and dignity TILL WE RETURN.

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Medina83
10-03-2007, 04:05 PM
Originally Posted by islamirama
[“PCWF distributes money only to bank accounts of children, we DO NOT distribute cash to anyone and keep records of any and all our spending and income and work with the Palestine Red Crescent Society, Middle East Children's Alliance and other US based and Palestine based organization and have absolutely no legal problems in the US or any other country in the world.

Salam aleikum,
Thanx for posting the Flickr pictures...
I logged onto the PCWF site you provided and was surprised to see them selling Christian things in the arts and crafts section. I was thinking it would be great to support their trade and inshaAllah will purchase some of the Muslim things.

Also I don't quite understand the statement above ..how do children have bank accounts? And the parents would be accessing the money for the child wouldn't they? I dont understand the point they are trying to make here..do you know what they mean Islamirama?
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Medina83
10-03-2007, 04:22 PM
Salam again...
Was looking at the site again specifically at the Books for Palestine section because I'd love to help out that way,,,

but why is the shipping address to Israel?
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islamirama
10-03-2007, 05:51 PM
wa'alaikum as'salaam,

For more information & questions contact PCWF's Coordinator Riad Hamad
at info@pcwf.org

And share your responses on here with us all inshallah :)

Found from the web:

Palestine Children's Welfare Fund - New Jersey Solidarity sells merchandise, including keffiyehs, Palestinian olive oil, embroidered goods, and Palestinian flags, to support the Palestine Children's Welfare Fund, a charity that provides direct aid to the Palestinian people, to children's groups, and to the Union of Health Work Committees, as well as digging wells and planting trees in Palestine

Another close ally of PSC, this humanitarian organization is headed by Austin local Riad Hamad: “The Palestine Children's Welfare Fund is an enterprise that was established by a group of individuals whose goals are to improve the living standards of the children of Palestine in the refugee camps inside Palestine. The group aims to provide the children of the refugee camps with better educational opportunities, health facilities and a bright future without violence, hatred and discrimination.”

http://studentorgs.utexas.edu/palestine/links.html

--------------

Here's an good intro about the charity, check the last paragraph to see how they are all volunteer based and 100% of the money goes to palestinians (no overhead cost like other charities).

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0404/S00249.htm
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MTAFFI
10-04-2007, 06:26 PM
very very sad :( What is even more saddening is that there are literally people all over the world suffering in similar conditions
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Keltoi
10-04-2007, 07:05 PM
I've heard some unfortunate things about this particular organization, meaning the PCWF. One of the more disturbing things to me was the "drawing contest", entitled "Why I Love Palestine". The winners were those who drew pictures of violence and images intended to show the destruction of Israel.
http://www.jcpa.org/ngo/ngo-10-PCWF.html

http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=32618
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Pk_#2
10-04-2007, 07:12 PM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
I've heard some unfortunate things about this particular organization, meaning the PCWF. One of the more disturbing things to me was the "drawing contest", entitled "Why I Love Palestine". The winners were those who drew pictures of violence and images intended to show the destruction of Israel.
http://www.jcpa.org/ngo/ngo-10-PCWF.html

http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=32618
:hmm: :enough!:

Ahh jazakAllah bro islamiRama for pics. :laugh: :'(
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islamirama
10-04-2007, 07:15 PM
You will find lot of info on pro-zionist sites trying to discredit a legitimate charity that is trying to help the Palestinians (christian and muslims) to live a more dignified and humane life. The charity has been checked out by FBI, CIA, and other US agencies and the person in charge even has a letter from Justice Department verifying their good and clean work. check out this news site on it

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0404/S00249.htm


also this site below pcwf site as well in their list among christian and jewish sites that yo can visit to help the palestinians.
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