|Pic: Trevor Hogan via benswann.com|
We've all seen what's been going on in Gaza. The kids in the picture above were playing soccer on the Gaza beach a month or so ago. There was another boy with them outside of frame. They were all killed moments after this photo was taken by direct Israeli rocket fire. Their names were Zacaria, Aahed Bakr Jr., Mohammed and Ismail. They were all from the same extended family. The IDF believed they may be Hamas operatives. They are among the hundreds of kids killed, and the thousands of children wounded, often horribly so. And they, perhaps, are the lucky ones, for their suffering is over.
I was in Gaza myself in the early 1990's, and met many beautiful people there. I felt welcomed and very secure. Whatever the political context of what's going on there - I have my views on that for sure - the fact is that children and being traumatised and severely damaged - that's not accounting for those killed and injured.
This generation of kids is living in a fractured time, full of violence and shattered faith. Kids under 7 have already experienced two wars and a ghetto-like blockade. They are at risk of growing up without a childhood. Given that young Palestinians make up the majority of Gaza's population, the foundation these kids are getting is in danger of producing a nation of damaged souls and broken hearts.
Not only is this dangerous geopolitically, it is untenable in terms of global justice and human rights. In short, in this day and age, this situation should not exist.
But, it does. And so we must do something.
The Kick Project has never set out to change the world, or even a person (other than perhaps ourselves). All we aim to do is contribute to a solution. We simply aim to serve. To this end, we have decided to go to Gaza.
The basic idea is to deliver 1000 soccer balls to kids in Gaza and to various league teams on the strip. We feel this will help to re-generate an important outlet for social release, as well as help re-construct a valued means of interaction and diversion.
For the kids especially, it's about bringing a small piece of fun and celebration into their lives.
For many Gazan kids, the world has only delivered pain, disaster and general indifference to their plight. How amazing if the world actually brought these kids something wonderful, magical, and asked no questions and placed no obligations. What if the world just said, "Here you go. Here's a soccer ball. It's yours. Go and play."
So, that's our aim. It's not grand or complicated. It's just a simple gesture because it's something we can do. And we feel it may help.
We want to get this done before winter sets in but also after the current hostilities end. So, logistics are all a little vague right now. But we're keen and we're putting out the message. Let us know if you can help.
Go well and don't forget to KICK IT large......