This year the summer has arrived early in Aida Refugee Camp. People in the camp experience the summer not only through heat, but also through the lack of clean water. Israel takes around 80% of the total amount of water in Palestine and leaves around 20% for Palestinians. In nearly 100 degree temperatures, families in the camp require a great amount of water to clean, cook, and bathe, especially since half of the residents of the camp are children. But the nearly 6,000 residents of Aida have been forced to get by with very little water. Last year half of the camp received no running water for more than 70 days, and they had to make do with water stored in tanks.
Dabkeh, the traditional Palestinian folk dance, has been a feature of Lajee's work since our creation. Weekly Dabkeh lessons are led by our Dabkeh coach Nasim Abu Amsha, who runs two programs for different age levels and abilities.
Once again, Lajee Center’s “Children’s Summer Camp” was a great success. The annual event hosted by Lajee with the unwavering support from the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is a fantastic opportunity for children to form new relationships, learn and most of all have fun during the hot summer months when they’re out of school.
This report describes work completed by the 2013 Water: Systems, Science, and Society (WSSS) Team (the WSSS team) in Aida Refugee Camp (Bethlehem governorate, West Bank, Palestine).
The report also makes recommendations for development of a water program at Lajee Center, a community-based organization serving Aida Camp residents. The work was conducted by an interdisciplinary team of Tufts University graduate students to address drinking water quality issues in Aida Camp. The WSSS team traveled to the camp in March 2013 to identify community concerns and assess Lajee’s resources, with the goals of building awareness of water quality issues and encouraging residents to work with Lajee on clean water issues.
During August 2015, nine youth from Lajee Center in Aida Refugee Camp participated in the annual Anti-Racism World Cup in Belfast, Ireland. The tour was funded and in collaboration with the Green Brigade, a left wing Celtic supporters group who bring noise and politics into the stadiums. Lajee Center’s youth group were delighted to be invited and participate in the activities, however, they experienced many difficulties in the lead up to the tournament, particularly with visa delays and travelling across borders.
14.11.2015 – On Saturday afternoon, a group of 30 children from Aida Refugee Camp and neighboring areas gathered under the shade of olive trees at the garden of Lajee Center to participate in the activities of "Daddy Read to Me" Campaign.