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Indybay Feature
Related Categories: Palestine | San Francisco
Bay Area runs to provide mental health counseling to psychologically traumatized refugees
by Laila Mokhiber (laila [at] unrwausa.org)
Wednesday Oct 11th, 2017 6:57 AM
The Gaza 5K returns to San Francisco for a fifth year!
On Saturday, October 14, more than 500 Americans from across the San Francisco Bay Area will come together for the Gaza 5K to raise awareness about mental health and critical funds to provide counselors to Palestine refugee children suffering psychological trauma in the Gaza Strip.

Now in its tenth year, the blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt continues to devastate the Gaza Strip’s economy and severely restricts Palestinians’ freedom of movement. The continued blockade and recurring violence has eroded Palestine refugee children’s sense of certainty for the future.

By participating in the Gaza 5K, members of the American community are showing solidarity with the people of Gaza and providing psychosocial support through the UNRWA Community Mental Health Programme (CMHP). The nationwide goal of this year’s races is to fund 32 counselors for CMHP. With three days to go, participants have raised 54% of the $110,000 city goal.

WHO: UNRWA USA is an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides support for the humanitarian and human development work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

UNRWA USA aims to promote a life of dignity and human development for Palestine refugees by informing the American public about UNRWA’s work and generating support for its programs in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank including East Jerusalem, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. Learn more at unrwausa.org.

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WHAT: 2017 San Francisco Gaza 5K walk/run, an annual charity race held in five major US cities. Details at gaza5k.org/sanfrancisco.

WHERE: Lake Merced Park, (Sunset Blvd and Lake Merced Blvd) San Francisco, California

WHEN: Saturday, October 14, 2017, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

PRE-RACE INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES: Abby Smardon, Executive Director, UNRWA USA