One year on from the escalation of violence in Gaza and things are still looking very sour.
A news quote from Save the Children CEO Paul Ronalds is pertinent:
"Save the Children is urging Australia and other nations to use their diplomatic influence to promote the lifting of the blockade to allow the entry of essential humanitarian aid and enable the rebuilding of homes and schools, and support a return to some level of normality for the many distressed children in Gaza.”
The Kick Project is still working hard to take a program to Gaza. But, these plans have been re-scheduled for various reasons. Mainly, the program has proved to be a little more complicated than we had anticipated and we have re-focussed on plans for our Rohingya program in Malaysia. We feel that at this early stage of our development as a not for profit organisation we need to build more critical mass in our funding and our management infrastructure before launching into Gaza. We are wary of wasting our time and resources. But more importantly, we don't want to raise hopes in Gaza and then let our stakeholders down. We want to be sure we can walk our talk.
Gaza is still very much on our radar. It remains part of our planning and we are closely watching events and keeping in touch with our contacts. We are still hoping to take a program centred on building soccer facilities and on assisting the development of local youth teams there in 2016.
We're also following the talks being facilitated by FIFA between the football federations of Israel and Palestine, after the matter was raised formally at the FIFA Congress earlier this year.
Could football be the route to peace between Israel and Palestine? Well, just about everything else has been tried and we hope we can perhaps be part of the solution.
Watch this space.