Photo Taken in NAWA for Culture and Arts Association – Gaza on 2023 Fall

The level of destruction in Gaza is unprecedented, with more than 70% of residential buildings destroyed and 66% of jobs lost.  Israel has had a carte-blanche from Western countries to carpet bomb the Gaza Strip, and each bomb that falls on Gaza will require significant funds to rebuild. 

It is estimated that at least $15 billion is needed to just rebuild the homes destroyed, which left 1 million people homeless. This estimate doesn’t include the hospitals, schools and factories bombed by Israel.

After the catastrophic war on Gaza in 2014,  donors pledged $3.5 billion at the Cairo Conference to rebuild Gaza over three years– with disappointing results. At BuildPalestine we believe that simply doing the same thing we have done after the 2008-2009, 2012, 2014, and 2021 bombing of Gaza is not an option. We must rebuild without losing sight of those who destroyed it, and while advocating strongly for the people. 

While it is likely that countries will pledge money to rebuild again, the people of Gaza will be left to do most of the work themselves. Therefore, civil society organizations (CSOs) have a critical role to play at this time. There is no single organization or foundation that can rebuild the unprecedented level of destruction. Collaboration amongst civil society organizations will be key. Simply funding projects through the traditional model of international aid will not be enough, we need to build an ecosystem that can work together and think creatively. 

A key component of the ecosystem is the local organizations on the ground that are the closest to the people. Below is a list of CSOs based in Gaza that are trusted by the community. Learn more about their work, follow them on social media, and support their efforts. 

NAWA for Culture and Arts Association:

Founded in 2014, NAWA aims to empower local communities through culture and arts programs. Focused on creating a nurturing cultural hub for Palestinian families, NAWA provides artistic and psychosocial programs for thousands of Palestinian children with limited access to culture. Learn more here.

Follow Nawa on:

Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children:

Since 1992, Atfaluna has been working tirelessly in the field of persons with hearing disabilities education and allied services. This registered Palestinian NGO in Gaza City serves deaf children and adults through education, audiology, speech therapy, vocational training, and more. Discover Atfaluna’s comprehensive programs here.

Follow Atfaluna on:

Gaza Community Mental Health Program (GCMHP):

Established in 1990, GCMHP is a non-profit civil organization dedicated to improving the Palestinian community’s mental health. With a focus on clinical, social, research, and training services, GCMHP advocates for the rights of women, children, and victims of violence. Explore GCMHP’s impactful initiatives here.

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights:

Since 1999, Al Mezan has been committed to protecting and advancing human rights, especially economic, social, and cultural rights, in Gaza. An independent, non-partisan organization, Al Mezan supports victims of rights violations and works towards enhancing democracy and citizen participation. Learn more about Al Mezan here.

Follow Al Mezan Center on:

Culture & Free Thought Association (CFTA):

Founded in 1991, CFTA is a prominent human rights organization in Gaza, providing humanitarian assistance and promoting development. For over 30 years, CFTA has facilitated safe, supportive spaces for community members to gain knowledge, enhance skills, and connect. Discover CFTA’s impactful initiatives here.

Follow CFTA on:

Palestinian Environmental Friends Association (PEF):

Established in 1998, PEF is a leading non-profit organization focused on environmental and natural resources issues. With a commitment to green practices, climate change, and community well-being, PEF works across Gaza to sustain local resources and contribute to global environmental initiatives. Learn more about PEF here.

Follow PEF on:

We Are Not Numbers (WANN):

WANN is a youth-led Palestinian nonprofit project advocating for human rights. Founded in 2015, WANN tells the stories behind the numbers of Palestinians in the news. With a focus on amplifying the voices of the youth, WANN contributes to building awareness and understanding. Learn more about WANN’s impactful work.

Follow WANN on:

The rebuilding of Gaza will require new ways of operating. The traditional model of aid will not be enough, and we will need to work together as an ecosystem to do whatever we can to help the people in Gaza rebuild. This starts by listening to what people on the ground are saying and collaborating closely with local organizations who are best positioned to respond to the needs of the people. Most importantly, this will require that we hold Israel accountable for the destruction and continue to invest community resources for a liberated Palestine. 

While it is painful to witness the genocide of the people of Gaza, it is our responsibility to stay hopeful and believe that liberation is within grasp. Let us not lose sight of the goal.  

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