For the first time in the Gaza Strip, a summer camp for autistic children has been established at the sea.
Reem Jaarour, the coordinator of the Dolphin Club, which specialises in aquatic therapy for autistic patients, says there are more than 3,000 children with autism in Gaza, and many more who have not been diagnosed.
“Five years ago, we were the first in the Middle East to have a water camp [for autistic children]. Subsequently we worked with 20 autistic children from the refugee camp, we couldn’t increase the number because of the high costs involved and the number of staff members we have, and to ensure we provide the best care and benefit the children,” Jaarour explains.
“An autistic child struggles to communicate with society, so we want to help him … with steps on how to deal with society.”
The limited funding received by the Dolphin Club has meant it is unable to expand the services it offers or support a greater number of children. “The number of autistic children is increasing year on year,” Reem adds. “And we provide our service for free to the children.”