In this podcast we hear about four Irish students who are cycling 4,000 miles to Gaza and raising money raised will go to Medical Aid for Palestinians. Link to their website


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Life in Gaza continues to get more difficult for its citizens. Restrictions in food and medical supplies means that many more people go without the basics. Four students decided to do something to help raise money and more importantly awareness. Gearoid O’Cuinn, John Maher, Eoghan Quinn and Ronan Sheehan are going to cycle 4,000 miles to Gaza and all the money raised will go to Medical Aid for Palestinians. Miriam Gormally met three of the four cyclists and began by asking Gearoid what inspired him to take this Pathway to Palestine.


Pathways to Palestine

You can find out more about this trip, follow its exact progress – and donate – on their website

Pathways to Palestine / Sl Phalaistn is an initiative that began organizing in response to the blockade of Gaza that escalated in June 2007. Since this time Gazans have been cut off from the outside world, unable to export goods or receive adequate supplies resulting in the collapse of their economy. In November 2008 the International Committee of the Red Cross reported that as a result of the blockade there had been a steady rise in chronic malnutrition and there had been a progressive deterioration in food security for up to 70 per cent of Gazas population. In the aftermath of the recent invasion in late December 2008 – January 2009 and with the blockade continuing the humanitarian situation continues to worsen. Basic medical supplies, spare parts for essential hospital machinery and other equipments are severely lacking.

Medical Aid for Palestinians

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) works for the health of Palestinians (especially in conditions of occupation, displacement or exile) based on principles of self-determination and social justice. The organisation has been working in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) for almost 20 years. Given movement and access restrictions, MAP has offices both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This ensures that while they have one overarching programme for the OPT, we are able to respond quickly and effectively across the territory. MAP works in partnership with local health providers and hospitals to address a wide range of health issues and challenges faced by the Palestinian people. MAP works to challenge the root causes of health care problems and protection of the universal Right to Health, which is threatened by conflict, occupation and displacement.

Their programme in the Occupied Palestinian Territory focuses on:

Emergency Preparedness and Response: MAP works to ensure that it is in a position to respond quickly to humanitarian crises and conflict situations that frequently arise, especially in the Gaza Strip. Our capacity to respond quickly and effectively is based not only on the presence of our field staff, but our strong links with our partner organisations, local health providers and hospitals.

Health Development: MAP works in partnership with local health providers to promote community participation in health initiatives. In particular, they focus on the key areas of child health and primary health care, disability and rehabilitation services, psycho-social/mental health, and working towards an integrated approach to primary health care and public health.

MAP are currently setting up emergency task force team to sort out stock, pharmaceutical team and storage spaces to redeploy over Gaza strip, establishing three main distribution centres on in South, Middle and North Gaza Strip.