About “Light Gaza”

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In memory of Nadine, age 6, Farah, age 5, and Sabri, age 4 we are keeping our promise

“Saving a life, one light at a time”

The “Light Gaza” Campaign will work to supply a rechargable light to poor families in Refugee camps. Our long term goal is to light an entire impoverished area by giving each family one light, so we need your help and support!! Children are dying in fires from using candles for light and to read or study, we can stop this!

Candles killed Nadine 6, Farah 5 and Sabri 4, help us Light Gaza and save lives

Candles killed Nadine 6, Farah 5 and Sabri 4, help us Light Gaza and save lives

Welcome and thank you for visiting the Light Gaza Campaign. Most of our founding members have been to Gaza many times. And although the suffering is great and the population is under siege and there are often Israeli bombings and civilians die, there is one type of death that goes under reported. These are the needless deaths which are a direct result of a lack of electricity.


Aside from poverty, the lack of electricity stems completely from the inhumane siege which stops and/or slows the flow of fuel into Gaza from outside. Additionally the only power plant in Gaza has been rendered barely operable from continued Israeli attacks on its infrastructure. As a result of this, most electricity must come from outside and Israel only allows a few hours of electricity per each 24 hours. This small window of power can occur at any time in a 24 hour period. It can even come at 2AM when people are sleeping and therefore miss the opportunity to use it. So turning on a washing machine or the stove or charging your phone or using a light, all has to be crammed into this tiny window of time which no one can predict when it will take place.

So people in Gaza have to make do, and those who can, save up the money, and those who are lucky enough to find a cheap generator, they make do by using these when the power is off. However it takes fuel to run them and this is yet another problem as there is a huge lack of fuel. So to have a generator and afford the fuel and then be able to get the fuel is very difficult. So poor families must exist using open fires, kerosene lamps, and candles which create very unsafe conditions and result in many needless deaths each year.

Deaths can also stem from carbon monoxide poisoning from either cheap ill-working portable generators, or from the use of generators inside the home where the gas build up causes death. Deaths from house fires are also very widespread. Families who cannot afford a generator use candles for light. Indeed some of the most memorable and heart breaking images from our many visits to Gaza are the images of tiny 6 year old students up to University students, sitting in a dark refugee camp at night with a candle in one hand and a school book in the other. No one should die because they want to read a book or get an education, but sadly this is happening all too often in Gaza.

Children forced to study using dangrous candles

Children forced to study using dangrous candles


For us the turning point came during a visit to Gaza in March 2012. It was at this time we attended the funeral of 3 tiny children aged four, five and six. Their mother Nehad said “They were little kids and they feared the darkness, so I had to keep some light inside their room.

At the Funeral gathering, a  large banner with the children's pictures hangs otuside the home where they died due to fire caused by the use of a candle

At the Funeral gathering, a large banner with the children’s pictures hangs otuside the home where they died due to fire caused by the use of a candle

Dead were; Bashir Children; Nadine, age 6, Farah age 5, and Sabri age 4
The only surviving child was the 6 month old sister Reem who was under a pile of blankets, safe and unharmed. It was during this funeral that many of us came face to face with the brutality of the siege, the deathly side effects that no one really thinks about when we think of the siege.

We arrived on the street in Deir al-Balah refugee camp where we saw the people gathering for the funeral. The men in our Delegation were taken to a large open area where all the men from the neighbourhood had gathered to mourn and make ready for the funeral. There were large banners with the faces of the children, the banners were hanging from the fences and also from the home where the fire had happened. As we stood near the gathering watching the men folk, soon 3 women appeared from the next door neighbours house. Two of the women spoke no English, one of them spoke a few broken words and kept tugging our arms and saying “come, please you come, must see!!” and they all began tugging us towards the house next door. Once inside the Irish women could see that this was the mourning place for the women. And sitting there, in the centre of the room, was their Mother, Nehad. She was holding baby Reem, peacefully asleep in her arms, the only surviving child who would never know her two sisters and brother. When Nehad saw us, she immediatley ran up and insisted we hold the baby. She wanted us to know that Reem was a miracle.

After some time spent crying and mourning with the women, the mother and father; Nehad and Raed Bashir, insisted that we come to their home next door, they wanted us to see where the children died, the damage caused by the fire, due to the siege! We climbed the stairs and entered into a fairly large room with a dining table and a sofa and some chairs, all were charred by fire and water damage. This was the living room. We were then taken over to the doorway to the left which was the children’s room.

Charred furniture in children's bedroom

Charred furniture in children’s bedroom

Upon entering the room the scene was horrendous and heart breaking and maddening. We all felt numb, useless, and small, compared to the scale of what we were witnessing. So senseless and so needless and so easily prevented! As we stood with tears in our eyes looking at the charred and burnt pieces of furniture and bedding, you could see the remains of children’s burnt clothing strewn about the corner near the charred closet. The floor was covered with bits of the walls and ceilings and charred wood from furniture which had been part of the children’s beds. As we stumbled over the bits of burnt wood and flooring and walls, we looked down and saw at our feet, the open charred books the children had been reading when their room caught fire. This is a sight none of us will ever forget.

The Children’s school books which they were reading by candle light

The Children’s school books which they were reading by candle light

Raed and Nahed asked us to tell the world what happened and why!

The deaths of these children and many more is preventable! The “Light Gaza” campaign aims to provide a solar light to poor families in Gaza so that no one ever has to die because their children are afraid of the dark or they need light to read a book!

Please consider donating or organising a fundraiser in your area for the Light Gaza Campaign.


Bank of Ireland
account# 45463260
Sort Code 90 49 74
Strand Road, Derry

Cheques can be sent:

Cheques payable to:
Friends of Palestine
C/O Destined
45 Great James Street
Derry, BT48 7DF



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