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As most of you know, along with several other organisations, the club has for many years raised money for the Palestinian Gaza Womens Education Fund. The fund is dedicated to helping pay for Palestinian women to receive a university education. Over the years we have held many fund-raising events and sent many thousands of pounds to our partners in Sheffield who administer the fund, which is currently supporting 58 women in Gaza and 3 in the West Bank.


However, over the last twelve months for obvious reasons we have been unable to organise a single fund-raising event, and the club’s contributions have all but dried up.
For this reason we are making an appeal to all our members to make either a one-off donation or a on-going direct debit to support the fund.
It is not charity we offer to these women, it is solidarity.
To give you a flavour of some of the difficulties faced by students in Palestine, here are a few extracts from the fund’s recent newsletter:-
From Dr Mona El-Farra:
‘The curfew imposed to limit the spread of Covid-19 in the Gaza Strip is extremely harsh and is not comparable to most lockdown experiences around the world. The situation here has its own peculiarity because here we are already living under a strict siege as a result of the Israeli military occupation. The dire situation of the health sector, especially shortages of medicines and respirators, makes matters worse. We have only one option: to ease the illness curve - which means imposing lockdown for a long time. Many university students in the Gaza Strip do not have adequate access to the internet and so are prevented from enrolling in virtual classes. Even if they do have access to the internet, there are constant power outages and they often have to stay up through the night, waiting for when the electricity will be available. It has been a most difficult year for the Scholarship Fund students, but receiving a scholarship does ease the financial and psychological stress that they are under.
And from the students themselves:
‘Things get more difficult every day. Although I’m used to the electricity getting cut off on a daily basis, the situation is now more difficult as I need to have electricity for long periods of time to be able to run my laptop and continue my studies.’
‘I have missed some exams because the internet speed is slow or I can’t get connected. It is very stressful for me. I have become even more anxious about the internet not working than about the exams themselves’
‘I have been suffering terribly from the cold as I need to stay up and study at night and the exams take place at night. The electricity is often cut off. I was able recently to purchase a small battery to run my laptop and sometimes I use the light on my phone to study and take exams.’
If you feel able to contribute something, no matter how little you can do so by direct bank transfer to ‘Bolton Socialist Club Gaza Education Fund’ HSBC Bank. Victoria Square, Bolton. Account number 61552112. Sort code 40-12-41. If you prefer to send a cheque. Please make out to ‘Bolton Socialist Club Gaza Education Fund’ and post to Neil Duffield, 2 Gorses Mount, Darcy Lever, Bolton BL2 1PQ.