Rasha Abu Hasoon is one of many women around the world who effectively responds to the outbreak of COVID-19 during 2020 and plays a critical role in strengthening the resilience of families and community. Rasha is an example of the importance of placing women leadership in the centre of response to emergency crisis.
Rasha is a young Palestinian woman (29 years old) living with her children and husband in Al-Shoka village in the eastern part of Gaza strip (GS) which is considered a remote and borderline area that lacks basic services and participation of women in the public life. Rash suffers from unemployment as other Palestinian young people due to deterioration of economic condition in GS resulting from the social and economic challenges caused by the prolonged blockade on Gaza over the 13 years. This reality pushed Rasha to use her free time and university education in the field of psychological counselling to lead many community activities.
Rasha is an active community member in “Wefaq Society” for Women and Child Care Which partners with ActionAid Palestine (AAP) in implementing “Humanitarian Program” in GS which aims to shift power to women, young people and their organizations in protracted crises and disasters to lead and influence humanitarian action that builds increased protection and resilience. Through the activities of that program, Rasha has been able to lead many emergency, protection and response actions during the crisis of COVID-19 and other emergency conditions affecting her community after receiving many trainings tackling the state of emergency and establishing women-led protection committees.
Rasha employed the skills and knowledge gained from trainings in the field of communication, strategic planning, implementation of community initiatives and emergency response planning in designing protection community initiatives. Rasha said: “those trainings strengthened my character, improved my psychological wellbeing, increased my self-confidence and my community presence and enhanced my skills in decision making process. Need assessment training helped me to implement an initiative for provision of heating for poor families during winter”.
During COVID-19 crisis, Rasha represents a real example on Women-led Approach to humanitarian responses that AAP uses to build its strategies and interventions during crisis because women have strong understanding of their communities. She led many campaigns to raise awareness of women about safety measures and other issues related to COVID-19.
Rasha is proud of her membership of and leadership for protection and emergency committees that were responsible for implementing many emergency responses supported by AAP and its partners, municipality and other organizations. Rasha said: “these roles increased the recognition and respect of my community, municipalities and other international organizations to my role and activism as well as the role of other youth members. In addition, the municipalities started facilitating our role and consulting with us in designing and implementing community initiatives”.
Rasha is now assigned as youth advisor in the municipalities in her governorate. Rasha expressed her thank to AAP for its support that allow her to have aspiration in running for the Palestinian elections of local and municipal councils. Rasha wishes to win the seat of the mayor in her area.
ActionAid in Palestine (AAP) is a part of global federation working for social justice and gender equality and eradicate poverty in more than 45 countries around the world. AAP started its work in Palestine in 2007 to strengthen the resilience of Palestinian People as ActionAid believes that they should enjoy their rights to freedom, justice and self-determination. AAP implements a number of programs through its engagement with communities and women and youth groups seeking to empower them and enhance their influential civil and political participation to understand their rights and undertake collective activism to address the protracted rights violations resulting from the prolonged occupation of Palestine. AAP works simultaneously to enhance their leadership capacity and knowledge to practice their citizenship in holding authorities and other duty bearers to account.
For more information, please contact
Coordinator of Advocacy and Communication in Palestine
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+972 (0) (2) 22 13 137