Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA)
The Middle East Children’s Alliance was founded in 1988 to address the physical and psychological needs of children living in conditions of war and occupation. MECA provides direct aid to Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon to help meet the basic needs of children. Its work supports community-run programs for children in the West Bank and Gaza, including health care, sports, performing and visual arts, media training, counseling, playgrounds and more. MECA seeks an end to the violence, occupation and apartheid laws that damage and destroy the lives of children in the Middle East by educating people in the US and encouraging them to take action.
Two 2020 grants from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported MECA’s medical aid and coronavirus pandemic response efforts.
A 2018 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network helped MECA get a medical shipment from Europe to Gaza.
A 2017 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported the Oakland, California, performance of the Shoruq Debka and Hip Hip Tour. The Shoruq Organization, based in Palestine’s Dheisheh Refugee Camp, is an initiative from Palestinian refugees that provides the community with legal aid, psychosocial support, and trainings and access to media equipment. It aims to use the arts to protect and develop the community’s cultural heritage. MECA organized a US cultural and educational tour for Shoruq’s youth dance troupe and girls’ hip-hop group. Using original music and dance, these young people shared the history and daily life of Palestinian refugees.
A 2014 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network addressed the education needs of children who fled the war in Syria and are now living in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Many children are unable to attend Lebanese public schools because their families can’t even afford the modest fees, the system is over capacity and integration into the Lebanese curriculum is difficult for the new arrivals. Additionally, the Palestinian refugees from Syria are only eligible to attend UNRWA schools, which were overcrowded prior to the arrival of new refugees from Syria. The grant is being used to provide English, Arabic and Math classes; literacy tutoring; and computer and internet access for children and youth in Burj al Barajneh, Shatila and Nahr El-Bared refugee camps.
A 2012 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported MECA’s work sending shipments of medical aid, blankets, and warm clothes to Syrian refugees living in makeshift camps along the Jordanian border.