Blog Category: ‘Emergency Readiness Networks’

2016 – What a Year!

January 25th, 2017

As we jump head-first into 2017, we wanted to take a minute to reflect on 2016, and what a year it’s been! Overall, a year of unprecedented growth and development, and we can’t wait to get started in 2017. Here are some highlights:

Cultural Competence

  • The Jerusalem as a Culturally Competent City conference in May 2016, organized jointly by the JICC and the Jerusalem Foundation as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, was a turning point for the JICC. Attended by hundreds of professionals, from Jerusalem and throughout Israel, the conference presented strides that have been made over the past 10 years, and set the stage for the next step of meeting diverse residents’ diverse needs, in all areas of life.
  • Continued work in the health care system, in Jerusalem and as a model throughout Israel, training in-house coordinators and facilitators to increase sustainability and adaptability within individual institutions. For the first time, work included a national network of hospitals and clinics.
  • Expansive work in the Israel Police Force, reaching most police stations and present and future commanding officials, and continuing to expand training in 2017.
  • Groundbreaking work with the National Insurance Institute (NII), East Jerusalem branch, the first NII branch in the country to undergo a process of cultural competence.
  • In the Jerusalem Municipality, the entire Community Services Administration, which includes welfare, public health, immigrant absorption, and more, is undergoing training, as well as the Auditor’s Office which will be able to look at the entire Municipality’s operations through the prism of cultural competency and sensitivity.
  • Santé Israël, the first web site to make Israel’s health care system accessible to French speakers, celebrated its first birthday. 
Ms. Uzma Shakir, Keynote Speaker

Ms. Uzma Shakir, Keynote Speaker, Jerusalem as a Culturally Competent City conference

Paramedical Professionals

Making healthcare practitioner exams accessible to Arab residents of east Jerusalem

2016 was an important year for us to take stock of the past four years of this program. Our conclusions show that:

  • The number of certified Arab paramedical professionals in East Jerusalem has grown significantly.
  • The program has enabled the JICC to more clearly map the situation of different paramedical professions in east Jerusalem, contributing to the knowledge of training in the Jerusalem area.
  • The awareness both among Palestinian institutes of higher education and health care institutions in east Jerusalem as well as Israeli Ministry of Health has been raised significantly.
  • A large window of opportunity for Arab women paramedical professionals to improve economic opportunities has been opened.

Nurses studying to pass their Israeli certification examinations

Talking Coexistence – Arabic Language Instruction

Both 2015 – 2016 and 2016 – 2017 broke enrollment records. In 2015-16 there were 180 students in 12 classes, over 5 levels. In 2016-2017, there are 240 students in 16 classes, also over 5 levels. We also held several cultural evenings to enrich students’ understanding of Arabic culture. Here’s a short video about the program:

Atta’a Assistance Center for the Rights of East Jerusalem Residents

The Atta’a Center has been in existence since 2004, and in 2015 it came under the aegis of the JICC. In 2016 we have seen:

  • 70% growth in number of requests
  • Ballooning of its Facebook page to over 7,100 ‘likes,’ and launching of its web site.
  • Publication of a widely-referenced booklet on the Ministry of Interior
  • Expansion of network of partners in action, both from NGO’s and advocacy groups as well as municipal and government agencies.

Atta’a Presenting workshops

MiniActive for Arab Residents of East Jerusalem

  • For the first time ever, MiniActive activities led to a change in policy. After months of campaigning, MiniActive led the way toward the addition of 3 million NIS to the annual municipal sanitation budget for east Jerusalem, and 16 million NIS for the purchase of additional equipment for sanitation. As a result of this work, the entire Municipality is focusing their attention on garbage collection throughout
  • In January 2016, MiniActive organized the first ever Arabic language Horticulture Therapy course in Jerusalem for special education teachers, in cooperation with the David Yellin Academic College of Education.
  • Bus stops in entire neighborhoods were repaired and replaced, thanks to MiniActive.
  • 210 women – including 50 youth – are studying Hebrew through a volunteer NGO to improve the effectivity of their activism. This is a record-breaking number, which broke last year’s record of 150 women.
  • In MiniActive Youth for the Environment, teenage girls learn leadership skills while participating in major environment-improving public art and other projects in neighborhoods throughout east Jerusalem.
  • MiniActive became a model for international work, hosting a delegation that works with the Roma population in the Czech Republic in November 2016.

Take a look at MiniActive’s own year in review. It’s pretty easy to understand, even if you don’t know Arabic:

Emergency Readiness Networks

In 2016 we expanded the network to include 14 communities throughout Jerusalem. In addition to training new volunteers, the program included training of existing networks to maintain ability to respond and increase sustainability.

Planning on map

Planning strategy on map

Multicultural Participatory Democracy

In 2016 we mentored community center staffs in Gilo, Kiryat Menachem, Givat Messuah, Baka’a and south Talpiot. For the first time, residents – especially the Ethiopian community in Kiryat Menachem and the highly diverse community of south Talpiot –felt that they were able to influence issues that affected their everyday lives. Training included using Facebook as a community-building tool key to increasing residents’ engagement in community processes.

Writing and submitting objections

Writing and submitting objections in Gilo

Promoting Tolerance in the Public Sphere

Since the summer of 2014 the JICC have been at the forefront of promoting tolerance in Jerusalem. 2016 accomplishments include:

  • A Different Day in Jerusalem celebrated Jerusalem’s diversity through 50 coordinated events, affecting tens of thousands of people on Jerusalem Day. It was the first time such a broad effort has been made to celebrate Jerusalem’s diversity.
  • JICC-mentored Speaking in the Square and other tolerance initiatives that came in their wake led to the redesigning of Zion Square, to be called Tolerance Square. The initiative’s Effective Dialogue methodology spread, and is now being presented in national frameworks.
  • 0202-Points of View from Jerusalem are now liked by nearly 80,000 people and reach some 150,000 people weekly on Facebook and the Internet. The network now includes pages that translate from Arabic to Hebrew, from Arabic to English and one which brings news from the Ultra-Orthodox world to the awareness of the general population.
  • The JICC was asked to be one of the leading organizations in the Coalition of Civil Society Organizations to Promote Tolerance, formed by the Center for Young Adults and the Municipality’s Young Authority.
  • The JICC is continuing to develop Tolerance Network Teams (TNT’s), a series of neighborhood-based and theme-based grassroots initiatives that seek to advance tolerance in Jerusalem.
Elhanan Miller Haaretz article

Haaretz article about A Different Day in Jerusalem

Window to Mount Zion

Since October 2015, Window to Mount Zion has bridged inter-religious and inter-community gaps that have festered between Jewish, Christian and Muslim groups for centuries. As a result of its activity over the past year:

  • In unheard-of cooperation, religious Jewish and Christian groups have issued joint statements condemning hate crimes on Mount Zion.
  • Christian ceremonies, which in the past have caused inter-religious tension, proceeded without incident.
  • The celebration of Christian and Jewish holidays that coincided simultaneously, which in the past had been the source of conflict and tension, also proceeded smoothly.
Window to Mount Zion volunteers

Window to Mount Zion volunteers

Asylum Seekers

The JICC, together with the Jerusalem Municipality, sponsor the only paid public servant in Israel to help asylum seekers, outside of Tel Aviv. We are also part of a consortium of organizations and agencies that seek to meet the needs of asylum seekers living in the city.

Tour of Nahlaot neighborhood

Families of asylum seekers on tour of Nahlaot neighborhood

Thank You!

Many many thanks go out to our partners in action and our donors. You can read about our activities in more detail either by clicking on the hyperlinks above, or by clicking here.

Looking forward to making 2017 even better!

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Tragedy in Shuafat Refugee Camp – Local ERN Leader Murdered

May 5th, 2016

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This is how we’d like to remember local Emergency Readiness Network (ERN) leader Baha Nababte Naufal, who was murdered a few days ago in the Shuafat Refugee Camp.

Baha collecting blankets

Baha collecting blankets

This picture was taken from our blog post from January 2015, which described the fantastic collaborative efforts citywide (especially between MiniActive and the ERNs) to deal with severe cold waves and winter storms in December 2014 and January 2015.

Baha, leading the ERN

Leading the ERN

Indeed Baha was instrumental in establishing and leading the ERN in the Shuafat Refugee Camp and enabling local residents to care for their community, even in emergency situations.Here is how it is reported in 0202 – A View from East Jerusalem:

Baha Nababte was a prominent figure in the Shuafat refugee camp. We have been following the announcements of his murder since the early hours of the morning. Residents of the camp and of East Jerusalem mourn the loss of an important activist and local leader who worked tirelessly for the camp. Baha symbolized for many the hope for building a better civil society for Palestinians, and many see this killing as an attack on the residents themselves. The 0202 FB page has published a number of Baha’s posts, and even had the honor of hosting Baha in the “Leaving the Screen” celebration that was held to mark the first anniversary of the page.

At the 0202 anniversary celebration

At the 0202 anniversary celebration

Even his last moments were spent helping the community – he was killed while paving a road from the refugee camp to the neighboring village of Anata.

Here’s the post from 0202 that reports on his death:

And from his memorial page, translated to English by 0202, an article by Nir Hasson in Haaretz.

 

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Emergency Readiness Networks in Jerusalem – Expanding the Network

February 1st, 2016

We’re proud to announce – another 3 neighborhoods (Old City, A-Tur (Mount of Olives) and Sheikh Jarrach) have finished their Emergency Readiness Network (ERN) training!  A total of 64 Arab men and women are trained to be first responders in a wide variety of emergencies, such as fires, earthquakes, auto accidents, and more. Their role was  and continues to be immeasurable in helping their local community, before the ‘official’ emergency responders are able to arrive.

The Old City Team

The Old City Team

We now have a total of 11 ERNs, and we’re continuing to expand to more neighborhoods.

Training Exercise

Training Exercise

We thought they’d be busy with a huge winter storm that passed over Jerusalem last week, just like the past few winters. In previous years the brutal storms – several inches of snow, cold temperatures, high winds – wreaked havoc on the physical infrastructure of East Jerusalem, which is weak to begin with. Each time, local ERNs worked round the clock to clear roads, distribute blankets, heaters and food, find solutions for those whose homes had flooded, rescue those who were trapped, take the sick to hospitals – in short, helping residents weather the storm as best as possible. Last week’s storm came and went without much fanfare, but we’re positive that the ERNs will be ready when it does.

Planning on map

Planning on map

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation and the Sobell Foundation for their support for this program.

 

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Emergency Readiness Networks – Saving Lives in Summer as Well as Winter

June 1st, 2015

We’ve mentioned a number of times that the Emergency Readiness Networks, which have developed under our mentoring, do heroic work during snow storms this year and last. Rest assured, these teams are trained for all kinds of emergencies, and are busy saving lives in summer as well as in winter.

Fires are a huge problem in the Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. People often don’t know whom to call in case of a fire; roads are narrow and steep and difficult for fire trucks to navigate. In recent months 32 volunteers have been added to the Emergency Readiness Networks (ERN) teams, who have been specifically trained in firefighting. They underwent a 3-month training course, given by the Israeli Fire and Rescue Authority. These volunteers have been added to each of the existing 8 ERNs (4 in each network), as a sub-team, specifically dedicated to firefighting and supplementing official fire and rescue services.

Below are three examples where these teams helped save lives.

In March, a gas cylinder exploded in Jebel Mukaber in the south of the city. Unfortunately, the explosion killed the homeowner, but the local ERN team was the first on the scene and evacuated the rest of the members of the household, who were all in shock by what had happened.

Jebel Mukaber fire March 2015

Jebel Mukaber fire March 2015

In April, a fire broke out in a warehouse of lumber and other construction materials. The Wadi Joz (central) ERN team worked together with teams from the neighborhood of Shuafat and the Shuafat refugee camp (two different teams), together with the professional firefighters, for more than 8 hours to contain the blaze. ERN teams helped to evacuate residents from their homes to get away from the thick smoke, and also helped to clear roads in case wounded needed to be evacuated from the scene. (Fortunately this wasn’t needed, but it was important that the work was done.) Extensive use was made of the ERN Facebook page as well as the MiniActive Facebook page, to warn and inform residents.

Fighting fires in cramped spaces

Fighting fires in cramped spaces

A third incident happened just last week, on Wednesday, May 27. A brush fire broke out in the north of the city, in the area of Atarot, but on land that is part of the Palestinian Authority. Two ERN teams, one from Beit Hanina and one from Shuafat, were on hand to help 5 teams of professional firefighters (3 from Jerusalem and 2 from Ramallah) put out the fire.*

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for its continued support of this project, and the Daimler AG and the Sobell Foundation, which support the project via the Jerusalem Foundation.

*This joint work between Israeli and Palestinian firefighting teams is a rare event. The last time there was cooperation between the two authorities was during the huge Mount Carmel forest fire that raged for four whole days in December 2010, when teams were sent from Jenin to help extinguish the fire.

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Emergency Readiness Networks and MiniActive – Working Together in a Major Storm to Save Lives

January 22nd, 2015

Beginning of January 2015, the whole city of Jerusalem braced for what was touted to be a repeat of the Great Storm of 2013 – heavy snow pileups, cold temperatures, strong winds, the works. While pictures of snow in Jerusalem are beautiful, dealing with the effects of such weather, can be disastrous. And for Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem – where infrastructure is weak and housing is crowded to begin with, where services are inaccessible in Arabic,  where bureaucratic and other restrictions often prevent Israeli emergency services and service providers from responding in real time – the effects of a severe snow storm can be disastrous even more, and potentially fatal. It is for this reason that the Emergency Readiness Networks (ERNs) were first formed in 2012. In the storm of December 2013, they, together with our MiniActive network of women volunteers, acted tirelessly and valiantly around the clock to help residents weather the storm. This year, with a network of ERNs in 10 neighborhoods throughout Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, they again joined forces with MiniActive to help ensure residents’ safety and enable them to get through the storm.

Preparing for the Storm

Preparing for the Storm

Utilizing lessons learned from last year, the ERN’s worked in impressive coordination with the MiniActive network. The ERN’s ensured that the roads were safe and clear, fires were being fought, residents rescued, and ambulances transported the sick to hospitals. The MiniActive network helped tens of thousands in their support and organization. They led drives for blankets, heaters, and food, which the ERN members distributed to the old, sick and needy. They coordinated complaints to the electric company for power outages, the water company for flooding, and to other service providers as needed.

As with any emergency preparation, the real work did not begin on January 6, when the rain and gale-force winds started. In the week beforehand ERN heads in Jerusalem underwent refresher exercises, where they reviewed the various protocols. They were then sent to renew contact with the various professionals, owners of the bulldozers, 4×4’s and other heavy equipment, take stock of shovels, hoes, salt, and more. Also, a special emergency grant from the Jerusalem Foundation enabled the MiniActive network to distribute over 200 warm blankets to needy households. The MiniActive Facebook page also served as a massive bulletin board, posting guidelines from the ERNs, emergency numbers, and helpful information produced by the municipality.

Taking Stock

Taking Stock

Thus, when the storm hit on January 6-7, everyone was ready, or as ready as they could be. Snow plows worked in the north of the city, clearing the road from Shuafat to the Qalandia crossing as soon as there was snow on the road. At the same time, crews in Silwan, Ras el-Amud and Umm Tuba were distributing heaters and blankets to needy residents. When houses in A-Tur and Issawiya were flooded, the families were evacuated, the problems were reported, and the families received help in relocating until the problems were fixed.

Burnt house

Burnt house

Unfortunately, there were a number of extreme incidents – house fires in the Shuafat Refugee Camp and other places, and a house that partially collapsed in the Old City. But the ERNs worked tirelessly to ensure the residents’ safety, and MiniActive was active in collecting money and furniture and a range of household items to help the families get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

Collecting blankets

Collecting blankets

Efficient, Coordinated Work Result of Extended Preparation

The ERNs were able to act so quickly and efficiently because they had undergone extensive training and drilling, months beforehand. In 2013 we supervised a ‘Training the Trainers’ course, operated by the Palestinian organization “the Jerusalem Emergency Readiness Teams”, that enabled graduates to initiate ERNs in their own neighborhoods. The 8 new ERNs, which were formed and trained throughout 2014, are the result of this course. They include:

  • 15 participants from the Shuafat refugee camp, who were trained  from 30/9 until 30/12/2013
  • 22 participants from Kufr Aqeb, who were trained from 15/10/2013 to 28/01/2014
  • 19 participants from Isawiyya, who were trained from 26/10/2013 to 15/02/2014
  • 14 participants from Sheikh Sa’ad, who were trained from 1/3/2014 until 27/04/2014
  • 14 participants from Wadi Al-Joz, who were trained from 12/4/2014 until 20/07/2014
  • 17 participants from Shuafat, who were trained from 10/9/2014 until 11/12/2014
  • 17 participants from Umm Tuba, who finished training at the end of 2014
  • 14 participants from Bet Hanina, who will finish the training on February 5, 2015

They joined the veteran Network in Sur Baher, which was originally founded in 2012 and the Jabel El-Mukaber Network, which was founded in 2013.

Fire and ambulance helping the family whose house collapsed in the Old City

Fire and ambulance helping the family whose house collapsed in the Old City

The establishment of an ERN requires a detailed planning process. First, appropriate team members are recruited, and the exact physical boundaries of the ERN are defined. The next step is to map the various aspects of action: what type of potential emergencies they will be prepared to respond to; what types of special conditions exist in that neighborhood (geographical terrain, roads, roadblocks, population overcrowding, structural weaknesses, etc.); what types of resources exist in the neighborhood – professionals, equipment, facilities, etc. Action plans are then defined, including establishing which emergency providers are to respond to which scenarios, and how they can be reached. The organizational structure of the ERN must also be defined and responsibilities distributed – a volunteer coordinator is chosen, as are a logistics team, a team that maintains contact with Israeli service providers, a social worker team, medical team, evacuation team and more, and the responsibilities of each person on the team are determined. The last and final step are simulations of emergency situations to ensure that the process works smoothly.

Clearing snow and ice in Issawiya

Clearing snow and ice in Issawiya

Taking Emergency Readiness – and Community Solidarity-Building – to the Next Step

We have come a long way, but much remains to be done. ERNs have been established in less than half of the Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Existing teams must be further cultivated to maintain and improve their efficiency. In addition, the plan is to further develop existing teams, so that current members themselves become team leaders, with each person in charge of a separate aspect, such as communication, facilities, equipment, the needy, and team leaders must recruit and train those teams. A detailed facilities mapping has also yet to be performed in the neighborhoods. This mapping will include the locations of different facilities, such as mosques, schools, doctors’ offices, bakeries; their contact information and how they can be used in an emergency.

Food for distribution in Issawiya

Food for distribution in Issawiya

The ERNs and MiniActive have shown us once again that responding to emergencies is not just about repairing electricity and draining flooding. Both projects aim to create teams and networks that build community as well.  People with different areas of expertise from medicine, social work, electricity to bulldozer operator – all work together to help their neighbors and their neighborhood.

We would like to thank Jerusalem Foundation for its continued support of this project, and the Daimler AG, which supports the project via the Jerusalem Foundation. And of course, this project would be nowhere without the training and on-site coordination of the “Jerusalem Emergency Readiness Teams” organization, and the volunteers from the ERNs and MiniActive.

Plowing snow

Plowing snow

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The JICC Calming the Waters in this Time of Crisis

July 22nd, 2014

garbage-cans-full1It’s been a difficult few weeks here in Jerusalem and in Israel in general. First the kidnapping and murder of 3 Jewish high school boys who had been studying in a yeshiva in the West Bank, then the kidnapping and murder of an Arab boy in Jerusalem, which sparked demonstrations in Jerusalem and even throughout Israel. And then missiles and air strikes and increased fighting.

Jerusalem Dome of the Rock

Jerusalem Dome of the Rock

We have been working to ease tension and conflict, and to promote civil engagement in Jerusalem’s future, since we were established in 1999. Thus, when tensions heightened and reached breaking points, we were there, trying to help residents re-gain order, first in their everyday lives, and then on a community and city-wide level.

Over the past few weeks we’ve played a key role in Jerusalem. We helped to spread a message of calm and a return to routine, through our broad network of contacts throughout the city.  In consultations with key figures we advised using a range of methods that successfully brought quiet to the streets relatively quickly. These consultations also returned routine services – garbage collection and sanitation, for example – back to the residents, reinforcing the feeling that everyone wished to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

garbage-cans-full1

It seems that these actions – and the influence of their messages – proved true in the field. Shuafat, the neighborhood where Muhammad Abu Khdeir (the Arab boy who was kidnapped and murdered) was from, became completely quiet during the day and incidents at night decreased quickly as well. Outbursts of violence and vandalism in different Arab neighborhoods were handled similarly, with similar calming results.

As soon as the military activity began in Gaza (July 6) and the missile attacks throughout Israel, including Jerusalem, we moved into a different mode of operation. We summoned the independent Emergency Readiness Networks that we helped to establish in East Jerusalem, which are a central component of the readiness of East Jerusalem in any emergency situation (from the snow storms in December 2013, to potential rocket fire like there is today) , and they continue to be on alert today. We are also helping many community councils in west Jerusalem that needed help in responding to the current crisis. For example, in the Greater Baka’a Community Council we helped to draft information and special messages of calm from the Community Council, which offered volunteer psycho-social professionals to help neighborhood residents. We advised other community councils regarding their responses to the situation as well.

In addition, because of our deep and extensive work in cultural competency in the health care system, we prepared special guidelines for health care workers for when social and political tensions are high, as they are now. In more normal times, hospitals and health care systems are often rare examples of coexistence and cooperation – between Jews and Arabs, religious, secular, ultra-orthodox (Haredi) Jews, etc. However, in times like now, when tension is palpable throughout the country, the situation inside hospitals and other health care institutions is affected as well. Indeed, in the past, there have been numerous instances of verbal and physical violence within hospitals, between patient and caregiver, between patients, and in rare cases, between caregivers. The guidelines help to delineate a professional response to prevent these situations and to deal with them quickly and effectively when they occur.

While today most of the attention is not on Jerusalem, we continue to work hard to maintain an everyday routine – and quiet. Under the circumstances it has become a state of “Emergency – Routine”. Much of the work continues to rely on the MiniActive and Emergency Readiness networks. The Emergency Readiness Networks continue to be on alert, ready to spring into action if necessary. The MiniActive groups continue, especially now, to contact service providers and report problems and demand repairs and improvements, which are able to take place because of the relative calm in the city. A lot of the work is being in contact with as much of the network as possible; the situation is not easy for any Jerusalem resident. Both Jews and Arabs are feeling the polarization and tension in the air.

Let’s hope for better times to come, soon.

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Emergency Services in the Storm of the Century – MiniActive and Emergency Response Networks Join Forces

December 25th, 2013

December 12 – 15, 2013. More than a foot of snow falls on Jerusalem over 2 days. It’s the worst December snow storm in Jerusalem since weather conditions began being recorded more than 100 years ago. Trees were down, electricity and telephone lines were knocked out, roads were blocked – all over Jerusalem. Residents were without electricity and telephone service for days. In a region where one snowstorm is considered unusual (Before the snowstorm in January 2013, the previous last snowstorm to hit Jerusalem was in 2008.), a storm of this magnitude had the potential of being devastating and disastrous, especially for the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, where physical infrastructures lag far behind other areas of Jerusalem and Israel.

We are proud to have 2 programs – MiniActive and Emergency Response Networks – that took leading rolls in helping the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem weather the storm, again. It can even be said that in the chaos that the storm brought, the networks we cultivated (MiniActive and Emergency Response Networks, see below) were the only ones that actually functioned. Not only did they function, they joined together to help residents weather the storm.

MiniActive set up virtual and real ‘situation rooms’ that coordinated the onslaught of reports and problems from the field, via its hundreds of volunteers throughout East Jerusalem. Those in the situation rooms were in constant contact with the appropriate service providers – from the electric, telephone and gas companies, with the Emergency Response Networks to try and clear roads and deliver vital goods to stranded families, to the municipality, reporting fallen trees – to report damages and find solutions to these and other urgent problems. Updates were uploaded to the MiniActive Facebook page.

Special cars used to help residents

Special cars used to help residents

The Emergency Response Networks that had been organized in a number of Palestinian neighborhoods and villages in and around Jerusalem were as ready as they could be. The populations of these areas had already been mapped (to know where all the doctors, nurses, social workers, contractors, owners of tractors and 4X4 vehicles were, etc. See here for more information). Practice drills had already taken place. So when the snow began to fall, the Networks knew what to do. They worked throughout East Jerusalem, from Jebel Mukaber and Sur Baher in the south to Silwan, and Sheikh Jarrach to Beit Hanina and Shuafat in the north, and even extended beyond the security fence to Kufr Aqeb. They succeeded in recruiting all the local 4×4 vehicles, tractors and other heavy machinery to clear away snow and provide aid to individuals in need. They cleared snow and alerted others to hazards. They helped go door to door to deliver emergency assistance to those in need.

Besides the immediate emergency relief, both programs cultivated communication between residents, and between residents and service providers. Residents gained confidence in their ability to take care of themselves. The end result – community solidarity toward improving their everyday future, together.

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