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Shadwell

Gloria Ford

0113 266 3883

gford359@btinternet.com

Yorkshire Countrywomen’s Association: at the October YCA meeting held on Friday, October 12, Gloria chaired the meeting in the absence of Chris Graham; she introduced the speaker, Kath Harwood. Kath has often been to Shadwell to entertain with her choir, Sisters in Harmony, but this time she came to talk about the Women and Children of Palestine. Kath regularly visits Palestine and raises money to support a number of the families there. The ladies were surprised to learn how poor some families were, having little or no money. She started her talk with a brief history of the country. She had maps which showed Palestine before 1947, on this map Palestine covered the whole area, on later maps Israel took over more and more until now Palestine is just a few small dots on the map. Kath had pictures of the families she visited which showed just how poor they were, several families lived in a building which looked like a multi-storey car park, each family has an area sectioned off with curtains. They had little or no furniture but they still managed to make Kath welcome and share a meal with her. Many families are divided by the 26ft wall which has now been erected between Jerusalem and the West Bank. Palestinians can no longer travel freely to Jerusalem unless they were born there and if they had married someone who was not born in Jerusalem they have to make the decision to move to the West Bank or not see their husband or wife. Kath had many stories about the hardships suffered by the people of Palestine, she told of one friend called Margaret. Margaret had been a teacher and was now retired but because she has never married and has no family to take care of her she is destitute. There is no pension for her so she relies on money from the charities. When Kath goes to Palestine she takes her money to pay her water and electricity bills and buy her some food. The YCA members were very moved by what Kath had to say and willingly bought some of her olive wood products to help with her charitable work.. Sheila Turner thanked Kath for her very informative and moving talk. The meeting continued after coffee with the business. The members voted on whether the area committee of the YCA could increase the annual capitation fee from £2 to £5. The results of the ballot will be taken to the autumn council meeting. Margaret Taylor read out the menu for the Christmas party and members were asked for their menu choices. The Macmillan Coffee morning had raised £209 and everyone was thanked for their support. The members were asked for their suggestions for the flower show schedule and these will be discussed at the next meeting. The next meeting is on Friday, November 9 and Val Howson will give An amusing talk about running a Charity Shop! The meetings are held in the village hall at 7.30pm.