cross posted from our friends at Desertpeace, because this is important:)
After posting the heartbreaking saga of a Palestinian child in Gaza, readers asked how they can help. I was overwhelmed by emails asking what could be done. One reader gave a link to a wonderful organisation in Canada. Anyone interested in helping can contact them DIRECTLY.
Under occupation, state-violence, and severely lacking financial, medical, and educational resources, many thousands of Palestinian children continue to live in desperate conditions.
The numbers are staggering: according to a July 2007 report entitled, *“Poverty in the occupied Palestinian territory,” published by the UN Development Programme, 70% of households in the Gaza Strip and 56% of West Bank households live below the poverty line. The poverty line is established as a monthly income of US $501.20 per month for a family of two adults and four children (US $2.78 per person, per day).
42% of households in the Gaza Strip live in extreme poverty (when the same household lives on US $250.60 per month or less – US $1.38 per person, per day or less).
The Canadian Palestinian Foundation of Quebec, a registered Canadian charity (#12747 2926 RR0001) established the Child Sponsorship Program (CSP) in 1999 in order to provide desperately needed financial assistance…and hope, to poor Palestinian children and their families living in the West Bank and Gaza.
We work closely with our Palestinian NGO partners and serve as a bridge between those who can help and those who are in desperate need of help.
Our program is run by volunteers and we are one of the few organisations that does not deduct a percentage from child sponsorship donations to administer the program or for other overhead costs such as office supplies, banking fees, postage stamps, printing, website maintenance, communications, website maintenance; etc. – separate fund-raising is used to cover these costs. In addition, our Palestinian NGO partners do not charge any administration fees either.
HOW OUR PROGRAM WORKS
By joining our program, each sponsor directly aids a Palestinian child in need. Financial contributions benefit children who are poor, orphaned, disabled, or requiring medical care, by directly improving their standard of living.
Sponsorship pledge: Sponsors contribute a minimum of CAD $70/month or equivalent
1 Sponsorship period: We require a one-year commitment. Sponsorships automatically renew at the end of each year, unless CSP is notified in writing.
Payment method: Contributions can be paid annually, semi-annually, quarterly or monthly by cheque or by credit card and also through our partner, CanadaHelps.
2 Wire transfers: To minimize collection costs and bank fees, sponsorship donations are wire transferred in bulk to each partner NGO which in turn distributes the amounts to the sponsored children’s guardians.
Transfer costs: CSP covers all transfer costs, insuring that children receive 100% of the amount donated by their sponsors.
 The cost of living in the Occupied Territories is much higher than other sponsored areas of the world such as Africa and South-East Asia.
 A credit card fee is added to the pledged amount should this option be chosen.
WHAT TO EXPECT
A profile of your child: Each sponsor receives a child profile containing contact information, medical information and the child’s photograph (if available).
Updates: Our Palestinian NGO partners do their best to provide updates to sponsors about their child’s situation and children are also encouraged to write to their sponsors.Communicating with your child: Emotional support is at the heart of our program. Sponsors are encouraged to connect with their children by sending them letters through our NGO partners. They in turn, will send any letters and cards from sponsored children and their families to us for distribution. Their precious correspondence is their special way to thank sponsors for their generosity and for sending them a much needed message of hope.