The following stories are stories of real heroes who deserve our admiration and celebration. They are heroes who choose to provide assistance during difficult conditions and show extraordinary abilities to persevere despite challenges and difficulties.
Shahinda Shawkat (24 years old) is a young activist who lives in the Rafah area in the southern Gaza Strip. Shahinda holds a bachelor's degree in Arabic and a diploma in human development. Shahinda volunteers in several institutions and community centers, including the Wefaq Association for the Care of Women and Children, and a member of the Protection and Accountability Committee in Rafah Municipality.
Shahinda worked during COVID-19 in the field of raising community awareness about means of prevention and safety, distributing masks and sterilizers, and identifying the neediest groups.
Shahinda says: “the humanitarian voluntary work deepened my understanding for different issues and the general context and allowed me to touch the needs of society and how to deal with psychological pressures, and my work with women helped me to understand the different needs of society, especially women. It also helped me to feel with others and enhance my leadership skills, self-confidence and ability to deal with all groups ".
Shahinda talks about the needs of women in emergencies: “women need safety in case of emergency, as they are the first groups exposed to harm and pressure in times of war. Women have been affected by COVID-19 and the economic situation because they are the backbone of the family who bear all the family responsibilities."
Like other young women, Shahinda was affected by the war, which encouraged her to volunteer and provide psychological support to women. Shahinda believes that humanitarian work is beneficial to society: "Voluntary humanitarian work contributes to raising awareness of society and targeted groups, build trust between youth and society, and spread civil peace in society”.
Mohmmad (27 years old) is a young community activist from Rafah in the Gaza Strip. Mohammad is a member of a protection committee with the Wefaq Center, and he is a member of the response committees. At the beginning of the pandemic, Mohammad joined many community institutions and joined the emergency committee in Rafah to contribute to responding to the needs of needy families. Mohammad worked on distributing food and health parcels to poor families and identifying societal needs. Mohammad also contributed to organizing awareness campaigns on social media to raise community awareness about methods of prevention and protection from COVID-19.