Bringing moments of joy to children in Gaza

Games and recreational activities organized by AFSC and partners bring smiles to children's faces amid ongoing conflict and hardship.

Over the past five months, AFSC’s team in Gaza has provided food, water, and other essential aid to hundreds of thousands of displaced people. We have also been organizing recreational activities for children living in shelters and tents. 

These activities offer children some means of psychological support and relief from the stress and trauma they may experience. Games, singing, dancing, and other activities are one simple way to help children cope with their emotions, regain a sense of normalcy, and find moments of joy and happiness amid the most challenging of circumstances.  

So far, our team has reached more than 17,862 children. The children’s responses have been overwhelmingly positive. Children of all ages participate with enthusiasm and excitement. Many express gratitude for the much-needed break from the hardships they face.  

Last month, our team brought activities and toys to distribute to a shelter in Rafah. There, we met a 10-year-old girl named Amal and her family. A brightly colored stuffed animal named Barpy caught her eye. Amal eagerly joined the other children in playing games, briefly forgetting the troubles that surrounded her. But it was when she received Barpy that her joy knew no bounds. 

Tears welled up in Amal's eyes as she hugged the stuffed animal tightly to her chest. She had never owned a toy of her own. She recounted to us how she had been saving up money hoping to buy herself a toy someday.  

Moments like these give me hope—the tangible signs of resilience and solidarity we witness every day. Seeing the joy in children's eyes during our activities, watching the community come together to support one another, and observing the strength of families facing adversity are powerful reminders of the human spirit's capacity to overcome hardship.  

With your help, we are collectively making a difference. Every aid delivery, every medical intervention, and every act of compassion brings hope to individuals and families struggling to survive. Every life we touch adds to a reservoir of hope, driving us forward in our efforts to alleviate suffering and contribute to a brighter future for all affected by the crisis. 

In this ongoing crisis, we ask people in the U.S. to keep up your support of Gaza and its inhabitants. Please use your voice to advocate for a cease-fire and diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the conflict and suffering.