Back to School in War-Torn Gaza

September 15, 2014
Internews’ Jossor Network supports critical information for parents, children and communities.

In Gaza, families are eager to begin the new school year as at least one marker of a return to normalcy. However, many families are uncertain about how to get their children to school and how to keep them safe. Many schools are still being used as shelters for those displaced by the conflict this summer.

“The decision to reopen schools on September 14 came with an urgent need to communicate with the entire population of the Gaza Strip,” said Marisa Consolata Kemper, Internews Senior Humanitarian Liaison. “Of utmost importance was information related to how best to keep children safe in an environment littered with unexploded ordnance.”

She added, “Through the Back to School program put together by the Jossor ma’Gaza production team, these issues were clarified on the air by government and UN officials, and an aura of excitement and anticipation generated for children who have spent most of their summer living in fear and suffering trauma from having lost friends and loved ones.” 

Jossor ma’Gaza and the Humanitarian Information Service produce a live daily radio program with useful, actionable humanitarian “news-you-can-use” and timely updates with details on humanitarian services, plans and aid distribution. Crucially, the service seeks out the information demanded by the population regarding the many areas of lives disrupted by war and conflict – compensation, construction, job creation and financial support – and solicits feedback on programs through SMS, social media, audience research and call-ins.

The GHIS project is being funded through the Department for International Development’s Rapid Response Facility (RRF), of which Internews Europe is a member. The RRF is a network of pre-approved specialist aid organizations and private businesses who can rapidly deliver emergency medical, water and sanitation assistance to affected people.

Download a fact sheet on the Gaza Humanitarian Information Service.