Two people, one humanity
"There is always hope. The spirit of humanity will come through. The good, human side will win." - Dr. Raid Haj Yehia
mission is to assist those in Gaza and the West Bank with limited access to medical care through HAP’s no-fee provision of direct medical support and direct assistance in accessing further treatment.
Neve Shalom/Wahat-al-Salam was founded on the principles of equality and peace between Jews and Palestinians and for years has been developing innovative programs to advance these values in the region.
In keeping with our mission, members of NSWAS have, in partnership with contributions from Friends Associations abroad, sustained many voluntary Humanitarian activities, among them: sending food and medical supplies to Gaza, providing needed medical treatment and transporting those in need of treatment to hospitals in Israel, helped develop NGO staff in Palestine.
The guiding vision is the provision of needed health and wellness services to those in the West Bank and Gaza who, because of the conflict and the occupation, were cut off from both; and the treatment of Palestinian children with serious or life-threatening medical conditions in Israeli hospitals since there have been no Palestinian hospitals with adequate medical and surgical resources.
Following the outbreak of the second intifada, many of the farming villages, towns and cities in the West Bank were cut off from medical services. Without access to doctors and without permission from the IDF or the Civil Administration to cross from one town to another where there might be help or a hospital, illnesses and catastrophes remained untreated often resulting in chronic disease, permanent injury or death.
The Humanitarian Aid Program (HAP) was the brainchild of members of the community of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam. In 2002, armed with compassion, funds raised from among themselves and time given by their own physicians, pharmacists and nurses, they began providing mobile ‘clinics’ to respond to the urgent needs. Read more at http://wasns.org/village/
Nearly every summer since, the HAP program has run a one-week summer camp at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam for disadvantaged Palestinian children from towns or refugee camps.
HAP commits to working with and through the Israeli and Palestinian bureaucratic processes to obtain the necessary permits, surgical teams, parental visits and transportation to and from the West Bank and follow-up support for individual children who require extraordinary services and support such as for severe burns or open heart surgery. For more detail, read Malak’s story athttp://wasns.org/village/
Village member and pediatrician Dr. Raid Haj Yehia has dedicated his life to helping others through his work with the Physicians for Human Rights organization and his commitment to the Humanitarian Aid Program (HAP) at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam. For many years, Dr. Yehia has made weekly trips to remote West Bank villages and refugee camps to treat children who cannot get access to needed medical care. Three times a year he goes through the difficult process of obtaining the necessary permits to travel to Gaza, providing medical care in hospitals with very limited electricity, supplies, staff, equipment and medicine.
The Humanitarian Assistance Committee at Wahat al Salam-Neve Shalom is continuing to identify needs. In December, HAP visited the An Najah Hospital in Nablus and met with the general director of the hospital, Prof. Saleem Haj-Yahia.
Established three years ago, the hospital serves all of the residents of the Palestinian State
The HAP Summer Camp, ongoing for more than ten, years, brings children from West Bank refugee camps to Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam for a week with older teens from NSWAS serving as counselors and activity leaders. For most of the HAP camp participants, this is the first exposure they have had to non - military Israelis. In 2016, a group of 35 children, their mothers and 3 fathers, came from the village of Bil’in, Ramallah district for a full day. Although not a week, this was important to hold since there has been growing mistrust among Palestinians of Israeli activities. This day, along with its permissions and transportation complexities, enabled the Palestinian families to learn about Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam and to experience the reality of Jews and Palestinians living together bilingually, in equality.
The most significant impact of the Humanitarian Aid Program is found in its ongoing and faithful commitment: Palestinians under occupation are able to receive the medical care they need desperately, families retain hope for their children’s futures and children suffering from terrible injury or birth defects receive the same kind of care that citizens of Israel receive. The fact that Jews and Palestinians are working together to accomplish these goals is evident and marveled at. It means that there is still hope.
By providing supports to already overworked and emotionally overwhelmed Palestinian physicians, nurses and emergency responders, the Humanitarian Aid Program offers a sense of partnership and a way to share some of the burdens of around-the-clock medical service.
Three medical clinics in the West Bank in Naalin, Budrus and Media have been thoroughly equipped through the help of the Japanese government
Hundreds of children from refugee camps have, each summer, had a week at summer camp at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam
Hundreds of individuals have been treated at mobile clinics sent to Jorat al-Shama’a and Beit Sira villages
Two children in particular- Malak and Nada have had their lives restored to them
Equipment and supplies have been provided for primary and emergency services at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza