Y-USA and the global YMCA Movement are closely monitoring the tragic events in the Middle East with great concern for the overwhelming impact they are having on the youth, families, communities and YMCAs in the region. Since early October, YMCA of the USA and World YMCA leaders have been in regular contact with our colleagues at both the Jerusalem International YMCA, the East Jerusalem YMCA and YMCA Lebanon.
YMCA of the USA’s World Service Campaign and many associations in the U.S. have been close partners with these Ys for decades, working together to promote cooperation and peace, empower young people and provide needed social services.
The situation in the region is uncertain and evolving rapidly. Our colleagues at both YMCAs are managing the challenges and responding to the humanitarian crisis throughout the region. The specific needs of the people and communities directly affected by the war are many--and significant--and we know the YMCAs are doing everything in their power to meet them.
If you would like to support the humanitarian response of these YMCAs, please consider making a contribution below, and note JIY/EJY/Lebanon, or an individual YMCA, in the Comments/Special Instructions section.
The humanitarian response funds will be utilized to ensure that the salaries, operations and support services of the Jerusalem International YMCA, East Jerusalem YMCA and YMCA Lebanon remain strong. The East Jerusalem YMCA is currently strengthening and scaling its response efforts throughout the West Bank in the following areas:
Emergency Medical Services:
- Provision of Psychological First Aid (PFA) kits to expand the delivery of emergency psycho-social support services by YMCA counselors to youth and families in isolated and underserved communities in the West Bank
- Distribution of medical aid and supplies, including wheelchairs, crutches, medication, and physiotherapy sessions, to injured and displaced workers from the West Bank and Gaza.
Community Care and Services:
- Distribution of food, hygiene, clothing, medicine and medical supplies to communities and remote villages experiencing increased economic hardship
- Expansion of mental health and psycho-social support outreach to address the rapid increase in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cases
Updates from the East Jerusalem YMCA:
- 574 workers have received psychological first aid and psychosocial sessions.
- The YMCA Vocational Training Center in Jericho has reopened to serve the students.
- Some YMCA staff in Jerusalem and the West Bank are working remotely to ensure safety.
- The YMCA in Beit Sahour offers reduced hours and services.
- The YMCA in Ramallah continues all services.
- The YMCA in East Jerusalem in currently closed.
- Some support services to remote villages are suspended due to the crisis.
The Jerusalem International YMCA (JIY) has:
- Re-opened its preschool and sports center to serve youth and families of all faiths, including free access to the sports center for individuals and families displaced from the south of Israel.
- Providing food and basic hygienic supplies to Bedouin communities and neighborhoods in the south and communities in East Jerusalem impacted by the crisis.
These initiatives underscore the YMCA's dedication to promoting peace, compassion, and solidarity during times of adversity. They also align with the organization's mission of serving the broader community and fostering unity among diverse populations.