Hearing aids raised for Gaza blocked at border

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A Derry man who was part of a group which collected dozens of hearing aids to be donated to a centre in Gaza, has revealed that the collection has been blocked at the border.

Charlie McMenamin who has just returned after taking part in the Palestine Marathon, told the ‘Journal’ that they have just received word that the hearing aids were blocked from being transported to Gaza.

“We are frustrated that all the work which we have done may be no longer be of value to the children and the poor families,” he said.

The group Friends of Palestine are now appealing for help from the World Health Organisation to help remedy the situation.

Charlie revealed that in 2012 a group from Derry had visited Gaza and the Al-Basma Centre for Audiology & Speech therapy.

“They told us they needed hearing aids, which are very hard to come by,” he claimed.

Thanks to the help of local people, last week Charlie and those who travelled with him took the hearing aids with them in the understanding that the hearing aids will make a huge difference to the lives of families who cannot afford them.

CONTACT MADE

Charlie made contact with the director of the Basma Centre for Audiology and Speech, Mr Emad Isleem, who arranged for a friend of his to receive them on behalf of the Basma Centre.

“The idea was to then transport them legally to Gaza to the children who needed them,” he said.

“We have just been told that the hearing aids have blocked from being transported to Gaza and we are very frustrated that all of the work which we have done may be no longer be of value to the children and the poor families.”

The group have now made an appeal to the World Health organisation to help them ensure that the hearing aids still get through to the people who need them.

Charlie said they are determined to make sure it happens and thanked all the people in Derry and throughout the North who have so generously donated to the hearing aid collection.