The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

February 14, 2024
Launching a year-long Grassroots for Gaza aid campaign

with a Valentines Day to Leap Year Silent Auction

Gaza is now the deadliest place in the world for civilians. The need for massive emergency aid is second only to the need for a permanent ceasefire.

Madison-Rafah Sister City Project (MRSCP) is responding with the Grassroots for Gaza campaign: a year of fundraising for aid to be provided through the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA). MRSCP has already raised over half of the initial goal of $5000 through direct donations. You can learn more and donate at

The campaign launches this Valentine’s day at noon with a Silent Auction opening. A wide variety of Madison businesses, restaurants, and artists have donated items ranging from gift certificates for coffee and fine dining to limited edition artwork and hand-crafted items made by artisans in Madison and Palestine. A local educator has donated an entire year of tutoring for a struggling reader, a local Mennonite author has donated a book, and a talented local baker is offering a dozen feather-light scones baked just for you.

The silent auction is free and open to the public online, and will run until February 29 at 5pm. Although bidding doesn’t open until noon on February 14, items can be viewed at 100% of all proceeds will go immediately to Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) for urgently needed food, shelter, water and medical supplies.

Future Grassroots to Gaza fundraising plans include music events, a bike ride, and a campaign to inspire anyone celebrating a graduation or a birthday, holding a garage sale, or other appropriate event to invite their families, friends and neighbors to donate to the survival of families in Gaza.


For over two decades MRSCP has supported many humanitarian projects in Rafah including water purification systems, mental health resources, a playground, a children’s library, a house reconstruction, and more. Our partner in many of these projects has been MECA.

Since 1988 MECA has worked to protect the rights and improve the lives of children in the Middle East through aid, empowerment and education. MECA provides humanitarian aid, partners with community organizations to run projects for children, and supports income generation projects. Like MRSCP, MECA also raises awareness about the lives of children in the region and encourages meaningful action. Their ongoing presence on the ground in Gaza has allowed them to respond quickly to the present crisis.

Today the people of Gaza face an unprecedented level of death, injury, disease, trauma and destruction of their ability to survive in their own land. Hunger and the lack of safe drinking water in particular has become so severe that the large majority of the population is now facing imminent threat of actual starvation and famine. Most of Gaza’s 2.3 million people including babies, children, pregnant women, and the elderly are surviving on one small meal a day or less.

Israel’s ongoing offensive has already killed an estimated 30,000 people, thousands of whom remain buried under the rubble of their homes. 1.7 million people are now homeless, and the medical system has almost completely collapsed. The threat of mass displacement is very real.

Entry of aid is severely restricted, and the only way for aid to reach those in need at the necessary scale is for Israel’s offensive to end. But MECA has kept working on the ground to provide food, winter protection and other critical items. For example, MECA partnered with World Central Kitchen (WCK) to open two large kitchens in southern Gaza to serve 2,000 hot meals per day, and to run smaller kitchens serving 300 meals per day. They have also distributed parcels of WCK-provided beans, lentils, oil, tuna, canned meat and more to families, as well as ready-to-eat nutritional meals to places where cooking is impossible.

This unprecedented humanitarian crisis demands an unprecedented response, and Madison-Rafah Sister City Project invites our fellow citizens to join in making a difference.

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Instagam post:

Madison-Rafah Sister City Project
Barb Olson,, (608) 843-8417
Cassandra Dixon,, 608-445-0357





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