Road To Recovery is an organization of about 600 volunteers who drive Palestinians undergoing medical treatment in Israeli hospitals to and from the crossings into Israel. Most of those we drive are children with severe ailments for whom medical treatments and procedures are unavailable in the West Bank or Gaza. For these children and their family guardians, logistics and travel costs to Israeli hospitals are prohibitive, particularly for patients requiring regular and recurring treatment.
Our nation-wide information networks for referral and collaboration network includes Palestinian field volunteers, hospitals, and fellow non-profit Israeli and Palestinian organizations (e.g., “Doctors for Human Rights”, “Basmat el Amal”, “Rabbis for Human Rights”).
In addition to transporting Palestinian patients to hospitals all over Israel, we assist those with limited means in the acquisition of specialized outpatient medical equipment. We also organize special rehabilitation and retreat days for Palestinian patients and their families in Israeli recreation destinations.
Thanks to our donors, in 2014 we were able to reimburse our volunteers for most of their gasoline expenses, a fact that enabled more volunteers to join our ranks. As of 2014, our ranks grew to over 600 volunteer drivers. In 2014 alone, our volunteers provided about 8,000 patient-trips (in about 3,650 hospital trips), mostly for children, covering over 329,000 miles.
The demand for our services grew substantially in 2014, especially for trips from Gaza to hospitals in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In 2014, we were able to meet nearly 100 percent of trip demand from the Northern West Bank, but less than 80 percent of the demand from the Southern West Bank and Gaza. Despite our on-going efforts to recruit additional volunteers, we are still having difficulties assigning volunteers to transport patients from Gaza. To meet the growing demand for patient transportation from Gaza after the armed conflict in the summer of 2014, we have started operating weekly chartered minibus trips, which we hope to double in frequency upon securing additional donations.
We have received countless thanks and heart-warming gestures of gratitude from the patients and their families. Since the founding of our organization over 7 years ago, we have brought about an estimated 38,000 person-hours of interaction between Palestinians and Israelis, thereby forging special and personal bonds at unparalleled scale in the context of every-day life. The “Road to Recovery” is as much about the recovery of mutual respect, trust, dialog and friendship among Israelis and Palestinians as it is about individual patients’ physical recovery.