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Gaza children to benefit from Australian initiative

Children in Gaza who were injured or traumatised as a result of the recent conflict, will soon benefit from an Australian initiative aimed at raising funds to treat these children at two of the leading hospitals in the Middle East.

The Gaza Children’s Emergency Appeal is a joint initiative of St John Ambulance Australia and Hadassah Australia. Both organisations have long been at the forefront of efforts to provide a medical response to the needs of Palestinian children in Gaza and the West Bank.

They recognised that hospitals and medical services in Gaza were stretched to breaking point and lacked the sophisticated equipment and surgical expertise that some of the children required, in particular children with head, orthopaedic, burns, eye and related injuries.

Money raised for the Gaza Children’s Emergency Appeal will be used to cover treatment at the renowned St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital, one of the leading institutes of its type in the region, and at the iconic Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

The identification of the children and their transfer from Gaza to Jerusalem will be coordinated by

St John with the support of members of Project Rozana, an initiative of Hadassah Australia to fund, amongst other things, the cost of treating critically ill and injured Palestinian children in Jerusalem.

‘The Gaza Children’s Emergency Appeal has two clear objectives, says Ron Finkel, President of Hadassah Australia. ‘The first is to raise $250,000 and ensure that it is transferred as quickly as possible to the participating hospitals, and the second is to build bridges to peace and better understanding between communities’.

Mr Finkel said that $60,000 has already been committed, which he declared is a promising start to the campaign.

‘St John Ambulance Australia is delighted to announce a partnership with Hadassah Australia to aid in the treatment of children in Gaza who have been injured as a result of the recent conflict. Hadassah Australia and St John Ambulance Australia share a common goal of providing charitable and humanitarian services regardless of race, colour or creed’, said Peter LeCornu, CEO of St John Ambulance Australia. ‘The St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital improved and restored vision to over 37,000 children last year alone and continues to look after the ophthalmic needs of some of the most vulnerable people in Gaza. But more needs to be done. We are calling the Australian community to action to help raise funds to ensure these two Hospitals can continue their vital work’.

Donations to the Gaza Children’s Emergency Appeal are fully tax deductible and can be made to the Hadassah Australia Foundation and St John Ambulance Australia and will be managed by the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital.

Further details are available at www.stjohn.org.au