Virtual picnic raises money for women students in Palestine

MORE than £2,000 was raised as kind-hearted supporters of the Saddleworth Palestine Women’s Scholarship Fund (PWSF) tucked into a virtual picnic.

The Picnic4Palestine autumn fundraiser on October 3-4 saw supporters make a donation to take part in a variety of ways of cooking and eating Palestinian food, either on their own, with their household, or with others virtually.

The PWSF produced a pack of recipes and ideas of things to do including Palestinian music, poetry, information on the current situation in Palestine and the group’s annual report.

A montage of the photos sent by some of the participants

One supporter commented: “We had a lovely Facetime Palestinian Meal with friends tonight eating Tablouleh, Chachouka and Pomegranite Passion”

Another gave “biscuits and pieces of cake to local friends as it’s a great way to tell them about Saddleworth PWSF”.

A dish made by one of the supporters

Michele Abendstern, from SPSWF and one of the event organisers, said: “The fundraiser got off to an inspiring start with news that 58 students were starting their new academic year, including 44 in Gaza and three in the West Bank.

“The money raised will contribute to the women’s scholarships and was a real boost to our determination to continue holding fundraising events, even if they have to be virtual or socially distanced.”

Over the past academic year, 13 women in Gaza have graduated and 14 new students were selected to start their studies in a wide range of courses.

This is a considerable achievement in a year where Covid-19 and all the restrictions this brings have added to already challenging circumstances.

Dr Mona El Farra, one of the key organisers in Gaza, said in a report sent to supporters in September: “The impact of this pandemic is difficult for big nations to handle, let alone Gaza with its already depleted resources.

“Even before the outbreak of the virus, we had severe electricity shortages leaving us with only four hours a day, alongside equally severe water shortages.”

Jacqui Greenfield, SPSWF Treasurer, added: “In these difficult times it is great to be able to continue work with the projects in Gaza and the West Bank.

“Once again, the Saddleworth PWSF organising group were amazed at how creative people were in rising to the challenge with their fundraising efforts.”

For more information or to make a donation to the fund, email saddleworth.pwsf@gmail.com or look on Facebook.

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