At the top of the 2019 NYC Gaza 5K fundraising leaderboard right now is Dunia Mujalli who has raised an astonishing $20,600 (and counting) to provide mental health counseling for Palestine refugee children in the Gaza Strip. This talented and determined girl is just 13 years old, and proves that anyone, at any age, can be a successful fundraiser!

VIDEO: Dunia explains her motivation for fundraising and encourages people of all ages, genders, and abilities to join her efforts!

An empathetic young girl, Dunia’s motivation to fundraise for UNRWA USA’s Gaza 5K sprung from her visit to Ramallah in 2015. She returned shocked by the violence she saw and the difficulties other children her age experienced and was eager to do something to respond to the injustices she witnessed in Palestine. Her father, Nasri, recounts, “when she came back, all she did was speak about her experience. She told me, ‘Baba, I want to help the people in Palestine.’”

When the 2019 NYC Gaza 5K was announced earlier this year, Nasri decided this was a perfect way to make good on his daughter’s request. They signed up and immediately started asking friends and family to make donations to her fundraising page. Dunia’s clear passion and commitment for her fellow kids have resulted in her massive success. When asked why she is fundraising, she says, “Because I saw a lot of things they [Palestine refugee children] lost. They lost their homes, their parents, and I want to help them out to make the world a better place.”

Dunia alongside her family

Dunia has overcome her own obstacles and because of these experiences, she sees the potential in others and wishes to help them reach it, as she has done for herself. Dunia was born deaf, and at the age of 11 months, she received implants so that she could hear. Her father describes her as “a special child, gifted in so many ways that go beyond the challenges she has faced. She is always going out of her way to help others.”

You can help Dunia achieve her goal of doing good for refugee kids by supporting her fundraising or registering for the 2019 NYC Gaza 5K + Dabke Party on Saturday, March 30 in Brooklyn, New York!