SPRING 2011
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Dear Friends,

As I sat down to start writing this newsletter, a chorus we used to sing when we were children crept on my mind; it was "Count your blessings name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.". I really think that this chorus is most appropriate today. There seems to be chaos in every sphere of our lives. Politically, what is going on, is absolutely outrageous in almost every part of the world. Financially, there also appears to be enormous economical problems everywhere. The last we heard of was, a huge demonstration in London, protesting against high prices. Despite of all this, our project is still going; and the Lord's blessings continue to overwhelm us. As the need is still great, I am quite certain that the Lord will continue to open new doors of support for our different projects. No words can express how grateful we are to all our friends and supporters who continue to give so generously.

We are contemplating running a one month intensive computer course during the month of July particularly for our pupils who have been mainstreamed in the regular school system. When doing their daily homework or exams in particular, they encounter many difficulties in finding staff members willing to read and write their exam for them. Even if they do, we have doubts if their assessment of the child is always accurate. Staff are either too sympathetic, or just unaware. Through such a course, we hope to be able to help our pupils master their computer skills, type English and Arabic, send and receive emails, and use of the Internet. We hope that in future, each will be able to obtain their own laptop, or perhaps one day we will be able to give them out on loan as we do with other equipment.

 

A new arrival to the school the second term

Raneem a tiny little girl who turned three on February the 9th, 2011. She is a delightful little child and very intelligent. Our social worker has been working with her mother for the last couple of years giving her guidance on how to deal with her totally blind daughter. Raneem's family lives in Halhool, a village on the outskirts of Hebron. She has a younger brother called Hamdi, who will be twelve months old in May. The father is an electrician, and the mother has a degree in counseling, but is currently at home. The parents are cousins, and the child was born blind with a detached retina.

Goreous Raneem

 

Lessons in guitar

Ra'afat, Ahmad and Noor have started taking lessons on the guitar. At present, they are very excited about it. A German volunteer from Talitha Kumi School has rendered his services free of charge. Isa, our German volunteer helps them with the learning, as she speaks perfect Arabic, and constantly translates German to Arabic.

 

Music workshop

On March the 23rd, two musicians from the organization Musicians Without Boarders, carried out a music workshop with our children at the school.

Musicians without Boarders is an international network organization that uses the power of music to connect communities, bridge divides and heal the wounds of war and conflict. They develop methodologies on healing and reconciliation through music.

All our children participated in the workshop, in two sessions, an hour each. They loved every moment. Thank you Fabienne for making it happen.

 

Musicians Without Boarders at the music workshop

 

Former student returning

One of our low vision former pupils Nisreen Ebayat, who joined inclusive education a couple of years ago, has not been attending classes for the last couple of months. Unfortunately she has been gradually losing the little bit of sight she had and found herself unable to cope. She is now back with us, as we are trying to get her stand on her own two feet again. She is learning English and Arabic Braille, using the abacus, and being trained in mobility and daily living skills.

We usually follow the vision assessment made for each child, determining whether Braille or large print ought to be used as method of teaching. In Nisreen's case recommendation was made that she didn't need to learn Braille as a child as her vision was thought to stay stable. But sometimes vision unexpectedly deteriorates and Braille becomes essential.

 


Nisreen learning Braille

 

Doris in Dubai

It was a unique opportunity, so we seized it. Doris was invited to join a group of folk dance performers from the north of Palestine who were invited to do four performances in the United Arab Emirates. It was agreed that it would be a good opportunity for Doris to go and meet people and make initial connections. She left on the 28th of March and will be back on the 6th of April. We just pray and hope that she will be able to make good contacts, and that we shall be able to convince somebody there for financial support for any of our projects.

Have a happy Easter, and God bless.

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