Editor’s note: The post below was originally published by American Near East Refugee Aid. ANERA serves Palestinian refugees and poor communities in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon, and is a partner of Direct Relief. The post first appeared on ANERA’s site.
Living in the heart of the Old City of Hebron, Yusra, 27, values all the support she receives from family and friends. “We have a wonderful family support system,” says Yusra proudly. “When I need help with the kids and my husband is out at work, our families would readily lend a hand. I would do the same with no hesitation if my sisters or sisters-in-law needed help.”
When Yusra is sick, she relies on her family to watch over her three kids aged 3 to 8 and on the only medical center in the region to get her health back to normal. The Hebron Charitable Medical Center is located in the center of Hebron and supports countless needy families with quality medical care and donated medications, free of charge.
“This center is an important part of our support system, because it helps us keep healthy and is there for us when we’re sick and most vulnerable,” explains Yusra. “People here care very much about their patients, and they’re very considerate, knowing that we come from impoverished backgrounds.”
As a small factory employee, Yusra’s husband makes a pretty modest income. “It’s hardly enough,” Yusra explains. Her husband has had the same job ever since they got married nine years ago. Like most people in the West Bank, his pay has not increased as prices for goods have soared. “There isn’t much opportunity for young men here, so we’re grateful for the center relieving some of our financial burdens.”
If it weren’t for the center, Yusra says she wouldn’t have had money to buy the flu medication, Relenza, that she recently needed from a local pharmacy. Like many people with the same situation, she would rather see the illness through and save her money than ‘squander’ it on ‘treating’ herself. “I would rather buy my kids the clothes that they need or buy healthy food for the house,” she elaborates.
With this financial strain off their backs, Yusra and her family find other ways to unwind. “We like to take walks with the kids every once in a while. I find it is a good way of unwinding after a stressful day and keeping healthy for our own good.”
Anera supplies the Hebron Charitable Medical Center with 70% of its medicines, free of charge. With support from Direct Relief, Anera is able to provide critical medicines, like Relenza, to Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza.