"We rely on a form of social solidarity": Huwaida in Gaza
Usually, displaced people wait for someone to provide services to them, but us, we are displaced and must provide services at the same time.
After our departure, our homes were bombed, and we feared for the people who stayed behind.
After that, this centre was established by the [CFTA], and I began working here as an employee.
We set it up as a shelter to accommodate 300 people, or fifty families.
The next morning, my children and I wondered what people will have to eat and drink.
We evaluated essential supplies, even though there was no funding.
And we supported each other by contributing efforts, skills, and money.
We rely on a form of social solidarity.
We prepare food for everyone: children, adults, and older people.
People also help each other to get water.
I coordinated with the association to ensure the medical needs of those staying here, including medications for heart and blood pressure issues.
The association managed to provide enough medications for ten days for everyone here. It is difficult for children and young people to see our vulnerability, to see we are scared.
Even though we try to help each other, and even if I belong to this place, I feel like a stranger and want to return to my home.
We hope that this crisis and nightmare will end soon, and we will return to providing our services in a stronger position than we are now.
Huwaida in Gaza. Image: Marwan Sawwaf/ Alef MultiMedia/ Oxfam
Oxfam’s partner CFTA
Huwaida is a dedicated professional employed by Oxfam's partner CFTA. She was compelled to evacuate Gaza when Israeli warplanes distributed leaflets telling residents in the North and Central areas to seek refuge in the South.
Within the charity where she is employed, she assumed a leadership role, overseeing a group of over 300 individuals.
How does Oxfam work with partners worldwide?
In 2021 – 2022 Oxfam worked with 640 partner organisations worldwide, including 63 Women’s Rights Organisations.
Initially, we believed we would stay for just one night and return to Gaza, thinking the situation would resolve in a day or two.
We didn't bring our belongings, and there was no means of transporting them anyway.
Not even international organisations have experienced such fear, that they cannot provide safety for themselves and their employees.
We feel endangered today. If international organisation can’t protect their workers, what about the people?
We used to wonder when the war will end, but now we wonder how we will die.
Will you be the subject of tragic news, or will you receive tragic news?
Day or night, the sound of drones does not leave us.
As long as they fly around, we feel in danger.
"A three-year-old child cannot sleep because of the sound. I ask him to sleep during the day, and he says: 'The plane will bomb us, so how can I sleep?'" Huwaida in Gaza. Image: Marwan Sawwaf/ Alef MultiMedia/ Oxfam
A three-year-old child cannot sleep because of the sound. I ask him to sleep during the day, and he says: 'The plane will bomb us, so how can I sleep?'
I have experienced much suffering in previous wars.
I lost my husband and father before, and my only hope was not to lose any of my children, but I was shocked to lose some of my colleagues.
It is difficult for children and young people to see our vulnerability, to see we feel scared.
Usually, displaced people wait for someone to provide services to them, but us, we are displaced and must provide services at the same time
During the day, we eagerly wait for nightfall, but when night comes, the fear and panic
of artillery and random bombing make us wish for daylight again.
We hope that night will end, and then we hope that the day will end too.
This is our life.
What is happening in Gaza?
The Gaza Israel conflict is a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.
2.3 million people are under siege, with little to no food, water, fuel or electricity.
Oxfam is campaigning for an immediate and lasting ceasefire, and preparing to help the people of Gaza as soon as it’s safe.