By Susan Schwartz, TMO
When war and its frequent companion, occupation, strike an area, those hardest hit are those least able to fight back – the children. While many organizations work with the children of Palestine who have severe health problems, certainly one of the most effective is the Palestine Childrenâ€™s Relief Fund.
The Palestine Childrenâ€™s Relief Fund (PCRF) will hold its annual banquet/fundraiser on October 13 at the Anaheim Hilton Hotel in Anaheim, Ca. The keynote speaker will be Ken Oâ€™Keefe, a humanitarian activist and a survivor of the Mavi Marmara. Mr. Oâ€™Keefeâ€™s name will be familiar to readers of The Muslim Observer. He was the captain of the first ship to break the decades long Israeli siege of Gaza, Palestine in 2008. He founded Aloha Palestine, an EU safe trade commercial exchange of non hazardous materials to ship passengers and goods to and from Gaza, Palestine. Ken initiated and brought to completion the Samouni Project, which created educational and business support facilities for the Samouni family. — a family that suffered the greatest losses during Israelâ€™s Cast Lead assault.
Musical entertainment will be provided by Doc Jazz. Doc Jazz is a Palestinian surgeon and musician who terms his performances â€˜Musical Intifadaâ€™. He has worked tirelessly for the Palestinian people using his music as a venue. His work gives new meaning to the term â€˜music with a messageâ€.
Present also – and perhaps the center of the evening – will be children who were helped to lead normal lives by the PCRF. They will greet the attendees and share their stories via pictures and video.
Tickets are $100 per person and should be purchased in advance as previous banquets have been sold out before the event. Tables are available. To purchase tickets, please use the following addresses. Those wishing to make a donation but unable at attend may also use these addresses..
For surface mail: P. O. Box 791, Palos Verdes Estates, Ca. 90274-0791; telephone: (562) 432-0005; e mail: <email@example.com. The link to the main PCRF web site to utilize paypal is as follows:http://www.pcrf.net/pcrf-southern-ca-chapter-to-host-annual-healing-hands-gala/.
The PCRF is one of worldâ€™s leading childrenâ€™s charities serving children under siege in the Middle east. The primary focus (though not the only one) is on the children of Palestine. Children are treated free of charge either on site or, if that is not optimum, they are transported to Dubai or to a hospital in the West. Transportation, if it is required, is also free of charge for the child and for a guardian should one be necessary.
The PCRF sends medical teams to Palestine, not only to treat children there, but also to serve as teaching models for medical personnel. Types of treatment include (but are not limited to) addressing congenital defects; a pediatric intensive care unit for cardiac patients in Makassad Hospital in East Jerusalem; a new pediatric oncology department in Al Hussein Hospital in Beit Jala; reconstructive plastic surgery, orthopedic treatment, treatment for urinary illnesses; custom built wheelchairs, eyeglasses and a summer camp for disabled children.
The Pediatric Oncology Unit was the dream of the late Huda Al Masri Sosebee who succumbed to the disease a few years ago. If Steve Sosebee is the CEO, Huda was the heart of the PCRF, and the pediatric oncology unit is the fulfillment of her dream.
The PCRF has been praised by Bishop Desmond Tutu, Senator Diane Feinstein, former President Jimmy Carter, and actor/humanitarian, Richard Gere, to name but a few.
In addition, the PCRF runs a Womenâ€™s Empowerment Program and provides emergency relief. To find out more about this outstanding organization, please access their web site at: www.pcrf.net.