Repairing homes damaged in hostilities | United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - occupied Palestinian territory
Asma and Sade playing with two of their daughters in their renovated livingroom.

Repairing homes damaged in hostilities

An occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund success story

Sade and Asmaa Abu Jarad are proud parents to five daughters. They live in Beit Hanoun (Gaza Strip). Sade works as a mechanic, with a small income supplemented by the Ministry of Social Affairs, and Asmaa raises their children at home.

In May 2021, they lived through yet another devastating escalation of hostilities between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups. They experienced the terror of daily bombings, uncertain when and where strikes would hit.

Asma and Sade playing with two of their daughters in their renovated livingroom.
Asma and Sade playing with two of their daughters in their renovated livingroom.

Asmaa recalls “living though difficult moments … shells landed in our yard and damaged our walls, blew out our doors and windows, and shattered our kitchen counter. We hugged each other in the safest corner of the house and prayed to God not to die.” They survived, but their home was damaged, the girls were traumatized, and devastation around them was immense. The damages to their home included large holes in the walls and ceiling, blown out windows, and burned furniture and curtains.

After the ceasefire, with the support of the occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund (oPt HF), the international Catholic Relief Services and the local Life and Hope Association joined forces in helping Sade, Asmaa and their daughters. They provided them with cash transfers so they can repair the windows, ceilings and doors, and paint the walls.

It was part of a greater project supporting the repair of uninhabitable or otherwise damaged homes in Gaza, launched at that critical time. These repairs were necessary to ensure the safety, hygiene, and psychological wellbeing of 155 families.

Sade and a Catholic Relief Services staff member discussing the renovation works in the presence of one of Sade and Asmaa’s daughters.
Sade and a Catholic Relief Services staff member discussing the renovation works in the presence of one of Sade and Asmaa’s daughters.

Sade remembers signing the repair contract and receiving their first payment, in August 2021, as a “historical moment” in his life: “I held the cash and was so glad you could not imagine. I went right to the market and coordinated with many workers and vendors.” 

Asmaa and her daughters decided to use a small portion of the funds to beautify the living room, to “bring joy back” into the house. No longer huddled for safety in a corner of the house, the family now loves to meet in the kitchen, the heart of their home. “I love to wake up in the morning and go into my beautiful new kitchen,” says Asmaa.