Last September, during one of my visits to Gaza, I went to the home of 13-year-old Mohammed in the Jebalya refugee camp. I like to visit the kids we are helping to send outside for treatment, to show them love and also to prepare them for their journey. A few months before Mohammed had his leg shot off by a sniper near the Gaza border. This is what he looked like when we visited him at Shifa Hospital a week after his injury.
I found Mohammed to be a boy full of life, although he had been born and raised impoverished in Palestine’s largest refugee camp, had his leg shot off, and his father had died a few years earlier from cancer.
Two weeks ago he returned to Gaza to a hero’s welcome after months in the USA, where he had a new leg built and learned to walk again. What I love most about PCRF is that we are volunteer-based, and it was the people in our PCRF Detroit chapter and his host family who made it possible for him to travel all the way to the USA for free care. Gaza’s long-suffering children deserve freedom and security, but that’s out of our control. What we can do is to respond to the needs of injured and sick children by providing them the medical care and humanitarian support they need to live better lives until the situation in Gaza improves. That’s what PCRF does and seeing the joy in the whole community in Jebalya when Mohammed returned home brought me great satisfaction. PCRF is doing so many things now, big and small. Repairing the life of a child who suffered such a terrible injury takes me back to the days when I started PCRF by bringing out Mansour and Sabah for care in Ohio. We won’t stop our efforts helping to care for kids like Mohammed as long as they need the love and support to heal and try to live normal lives.