"Every child has dreams for their future. Even in Gaza. Let’s help them now. This message cannot wait."
This is the message for the UNRWA's newest campaign – #SOS4Gaza – that aims to raise money for the education of children in the occupied territory, with Mohammad Assaf as the face of the campaign. Having won Arab Idol, Assaf, himself a Palestinian, now serves as the UNRWA's regional goodwill ambassador for youth.
The campaign produced a short film to promote the initiative shows six children living in Gaza speaking about their various dreams for the future. They then collectively decide to write down their goals and aspirations, place them in a bottle and throw the bottle out to sea with the hope that someone will hear their story.
While lighthearted, the film is also somber as the destruction from years of conflict and the poor living conditions are emphasized as the setting of the brief story. However, the kids positive energy and excitement clearly demonstrates an unwavering spirit of hope for a brighter future.
Launched on Friday, the new campaign endeavors to draw on the spirit of Ramadan to raise funds to continue educating children in Gaza. According to the UNRWA's official campaign page, the organization currently teaches some 240,000 children at its schools located throughout Gaza.
Throughout the region, UNRWA is facing a massive budget shortfall.
“Despite all challenges, children in Gaza have dreams and want a future, like every other child in the world,” UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl said in another video uploaded as part of the campaign. “It is humbling to see that the children featured in the video, who, like 950,000 others in Gaza, have grown up surrounded by poverty and conflict, have not lost hope.”