“It is so hard to live these days”

“It is so hard to live these days," says 10-year-old Mohammed, who has taken shelter in a UN-run school in Gaza City after fleeing the family home in Shishaya.   Photo: UNICEF/Loulou D’Aki
10-year-old Mohammed is one of the 240,000 people sheltering in schools in Gaza. Photo: UNICEF/Loulou D’Aki

“It is so hard to live these days,” says 10-year-old Mohammed, who has taken shelter in a UN-run school in Gaza City after fleeing the family home in Shishaya. “There was shelling. My family and I hid under the staircase. We were very scared and rightly so, because our home was destroyed. Thanks to the staircase, we survived. We ran away, it was scary because the whole neighbourhood was being shelled. Now we are in this school. I feel safe here, it is a school,” he says.

But not a single place in Gaza appears to be safe anymore. Three UN-run school have been shelled in past days, causing the death and injury of some of the civilians who had sought refuge there, including children. More than 240,000 people are currently taking shelter in UN-run schools across Gaza.

UNICEF has started distributing hygiene kits for adults and babies in public schools, where another 10,000 people are staying. Together with the World Food Programme, we have also provided more than 1,300 families with electronic vouchers they can use to buy food, water and hygiene products at local shops.

UNICEF has five teams in Gaza to provide psychological care and protection to at least 25,000 children and their guardians.