ACTNews, GAZA – The fragrance of various spices filled a building on Al-Yarmouk street in Shaikh Ridwan region in Gaza City. A giant banner that says Dapur Umum Indonesia with Indonesian and Palestinian flag on the right and left side was hanging above the entrance. In that building, volunteers were busy cooking delicious dishes since early in the morning.
That Saturday (2/16), hundreds of meal packages were cooked. Each package contained rice, vegetable and chicken. In early noon, the cooking process was done, and the meal packages were delivered to Amouriya Elementary School in Central Gaza.
“Indonesian Public Kitchen in Gaza has operated since February 9. The food is distributed in schools across Gaza Strip. Each day, 500 meal packages were cooked for the people of Gaza,” reported Andi Noor Faradiba of Global Humanity Response (GHR) – Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT).
In the school, the children eat their lunch together. They sat in groups. Eating together with their schoolmates was an experience they cherish.
“The food from the Indonesian Public Kitchen was distributed for the schoolchildren and poor families in Gaza Strip,” added Faradiba.
The Indonesian Public Kitchen for Gaza is one of ACT’s programs to support the people of Palestine. The nutritious food distribution is ACT’s response to the malnutrition that affect the schoolchildren of Palestine.
The food insecurity in Palestine impacts not only the adults but also the children in Gaza. In early February, Dr. Zaher al-Banna, head of the Central Council of Parents in UNRWA schools in Gaza Strip, stated that the deteriorating economic situation and the increase of unemployment rate affect the schoolchildren directly, resulting in cases of fainting, malnutrition and anemia in a number of students.
Such saddening fact is also confirmed by Muhammad Husein, an Indonesian who has lived in Gaza for few years. He said that one of the problems that afflict the children in Gaza is lack of proper nourishments. “Talking about education, the problems exist not only in schools, but also in their homes. One of the problems is that the students often go to school hungry,” he explained when viciting ACT Head Office, Tuesday (2/19).