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Children from Gaza in costume for a Hands Up performance.

Hands Up initiative for children of Gaza in the spotlight

In its annual joint event with the local interfaith forum, Hastings Against War presents a talk on the Hands Up project which puts Palestinian children in the blockaded city of Gaza in touch with their peers around the world. John Enefer explains.

On 6 October there will be an opportunity to hear about a unique project which links children in Gaza with children around the world. Adrian Underhill, a Hastings resident, will talk about the Hands Up project, in which he is closely involved.

As Adrian says, the project “offers Gazan kids a powerful way to make direct online video contact with same age classes in the rest of the world, to talk about their lives, tell stories, find out about others, and do it in English which they see as a valuable entry to the international community.”

Hands Up involves mini-plays which are no more than five minutes long, contain no more than five characters and are written by school-kids with teachers’ help. They have to be filmed in one take with one camera. Within this challenging format, hundreds of mini plays have now been produced by Palestinian children.

Adrian Underhill.

Last year Adrian Underhill helped to take a group of 15 nine to 11-year-old schoolkids from Gaza to the West Bank, where they performed their award-winning plays to audiences in Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Jenin. It was the first time they had ventured out of their blockaded city.

In 2007 Israel imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the tiny Middle Eastern coastal strip in response to the militant group Hamas taking control of the territory. The consequences of this have been grave for the people of Gaza. According to Oxfam, even before the global pandemic the unemployment rate in Gaza was 42%, while 80% relied on international humanitarian aid in order to survive. The International Committee of the Red Cross has described the blockade as ‘collective punishment’, a policy illegal under International Law.(4)

In the talk Adrian Underhill will explain that anyone can get involved in real-time online classes in Gaza, helping to alleviate the sense of isolation felt among Gazan children.

The event will be the latest in a series of annual joint meetings between the Hastings and District Interfaith Forum and Hastings Against War. It was originally intended to be a public event but will now take place through Zoom.

 

Hands Up Project A Zoom Talk by Adrian Underhill, Tuesday 6 October, 6.50pm for 7pm. To hear the talk send an email to info@hastingsagainstwar.org. The event is organised by Hastings Against War and Hastings and District Interfaith Forum.

See also Hands Up project puts young Palestinians in touch with the outside world and My trip with the children of the Hands Up Project.

 

Posted 17:37 Monday, Sep 28, 2020 In: Young People

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