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Although autumn supposedly has already started, but still the weather here in Bethlehem has not really cooled down. Despite the fact that it has improved since July and August, yet it is still warmer than usual. These two months are the months when staff members take their holidays by turn, but still there was a great deal of work to be done. The teachers who were not engaged in teaching, helped in the Braille production Unit typing new books on to the computer.
Straight after the camping holiday on the Sea-of-Galilee for the School children, there were two courses running from July the first to the 17th. For the second year running, a course for teaching Braille was arranged; Ten people took the course, and they were quite a mixed group. There were some children's parents, sisters and teachers involved in the Education of the blind.
Since technology has become such an important aspect of our lives, it is essential that the children in our Mainstream Programme, require continuous instructions in Computer Skills. So once again, parrarel with the Teaching of Braille, there was a course running in Computer, and daily living Skills for our children who are in mainstream education. Nine children attended, and they all left us to go to their homes on July the seventeenth, just a day or two prior to the beginning of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
After twelve years of service in the Society, Yvonne, whom some of you know very well, was obliged to quit her post with us. The children have missed her terribly, and they still ask after her. She was kind, and had a very good heart.
During the Summer Months whilst all the children were enjoying their summer holidays with their families, Each of them had a visit from our Social Worker who visited them in their own homes; she also made arrangements for two of our children Ra'fat and Adham who completed grade five, to be transferred to regular State Schools. Both of them have settled down well in their new surroundings, and Adham still visits us once a week, as he remains part of our team of Gall Ball.
Naheel and Bara’
The first of September was the beginning of the School new term
Two new comers have joined our Kindergarten Class one girl and one boy. Naheel, Female, was born Blind on the 23rd of July, 2007 She is completely Blind in one eye, and has cataract in the second. Her Parents are first cousins; she comes from Arroob, a village in the outskirts of Bethlehem. Her mother is a teacher, while her father is employed by the Ministry of Interior. Naheel has three other sisters who are older than her. They live in a house consisting
of three rooms. She is a bright child, and is currently a day pupil.
Bara' a four-year-old boy, was born on May the seventh 2008. His sister Malak, who is two years older than her brother, was admitted to Al-Shurooq School a year ago. Both she and her brother have the same sight problems. Their disease is congenital, something to do with an under developed eye and Retina. They both have been operated on, but with not much improvement. Bara's sight is not as good as his sister's. He is quite a bright child, and has settled in nicely. He comes from a village near Hebron Called Tarqumia. The mother is a housewife, and the father is a labourer, and he is often without work.
Despite the fact that the building is only three years old, yet it was necessary that some maintenance work needed to be done. All the bathroom windows were without nettings, and which allowed many mosquitos attacking the children at night, and most of the shutters in the building had to be fixed. Apparently neither the work nor the material used was of good quality. This cost the Society eight Thousand Israeli sheqels.
A cultural excursion
In order to break the monotony and seriousness of the course, a cultural trip to Sabastia was arranged. This is a village in the North of the country that has the most beautiful Roman ruins. So on July the fifth, a mini bus was hired, with twenty people on board, of children and staff and we headed towards Nablus. Where in its outskirts, lies the village of Sabastia; during the time when the Romans ruled the country, it was the town where King Herod ruled, and the place where John the Baptist was imprisoned. The Ruins are some of the best in the whole area. They have not been renovated and not opened to tourists; but they are really fantastic, and there is a lot to be seen. We also made a visit to Jacob's Well, and saw the beautifully built Church, and some were brave enough to have a drink from the ancient well. After all this, everybody was exhausted, and we were glad to go to a resort within the area called Al-bidan Valley were there is a running fountain with huge grounds surrounded by many trees. There we had some refreshments. And returned home that evening, with great joy, and delighted with what we had experienced.
|In the church||Climbing around the theatre|
Braille Production Unit
As mentioned earlier, three recently employed staff members, spent a lot of their time typing new books on to their computers during the Summer months when there were no children to be taught. This resulted in the fact that 35 new titles have been added to our collection falling into fifty volumes of Braille; Over five hundred books And ten Perkins Braillers have been given out on loan. The work still goes on, and there is a great deal more to be done.
Thank you friends, for your support, interest, and prayers.