Mashaqqa: A Real story of a family’s immense difficulty
September 23, 2022
‘Mashaqqa’ is a complex Arabic word that encompasses much of the struggles that families in Gaza undergo. Its literal meaning is ‘to stretch’, but the word also describes hardship, struggle, intense difficulty, and exhaustion. An intense word packed with meaning for people who have been born into intense living circumstances.
Households around the world have struggles. But for the people of Gaza, their struggles include battling extreme poverty, food insecurity, lack of access to clean water, medicine and economic opportunities.
Mashaqqa sums up the lived experience of the two million people in Gaza. The crisis in Gaza is ongoing. The people of Gaza matter. They are not just statistics.
Samia’s family: A real story of Mashaqqa
Samia is not only the carer for her cancer-stricken husband and three young sons, but she also looks after her three disabled brothers since the death of her parents. Samia’s own health is likely to waver if she continues carrying this burden alone.
Her home is a tin-roofed shack with no appliances and unsuitable for her family.
Samia is dependent on charitable support, but the family need medicines, food and other essentials that she cannot afford. She collects cans and metal scraps to sell to make some money.
iF Charity provided her with food aid during the month of Ramadan but we are keen to do more for her.
Our Homes with Hope programme could help Samia and her dependents find a more suitable home which can accommodate 4 sick members as well as her children. Within The Homes with Hope programme, there is specialised support for children as well as disabled people, and direct help to Samia with the poverty relief fund.
However, this is only a short-term stop-gap to tide things over. Through our Community Development programme, we could help Samia to see long-term change for her and her family. By offering training and seed money to set up her own business, this will generate a steady income and financial security for her and her family.
iF charity could also offer direct support to Samia’s husband and three brothers through our Medical Aid Project. The World Health Organisation has reported that there is a chronic shortage of essential medicines in Gaza averaging approximately 30% as well as a 50% shortage of medical disposables.
*Please note that the beneficiary’s name has been changed to protect their identity.