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Some of you might have noticed that the spring issue of the
Society's quarterly newsletter had not been sent out, and we do apologize about
that. Helen had health problems during the months of April and May, praise the
Lord, she is now in good health, and able to resume her responsibilities.
We are having quite a warm summer, but here in Bethlehem it is much cooler than Tiberias. We have just returned from our camping holiday two days ago.
As previously planned, we set out on the early morning of the eighteenth of June, with three volunteers, four members of staff, fifteen children and Helen, along with plenty of food and water.
We first headed to Haifa, to a beautiful beach with free entry. The aim was to get the children to sense the difference between the sea, the lake and the water fall. There were trees and grass, so we were able to sit in the shade and the sea was just below us.
No words can express how much the children enjoyed being in
the sea; they felt the sand, they were tossed by the waves, and they had a taste
of the salty water.
We had sandwiches for lunch that we had brought from school, and around three o'clock, we left the beach and went to a mall, where each had an ice-cream.
We then headed towards Tabgha on the Sea-of-Galilee. We arrived there just after five, and the children, staff, and volunteers were shown the three tents that were ready for us to use. There were eight beds in each tent.
Three girls joined us for the first time; four-year-old Raneem, six-year old Malak, and seven-year-old Nadia. As the experience was completely new to them, they were rather difficult to manage. The youngest was the best in the water; the two other girls were rather frightened. The rest of the children had a marvelous time with the help of the three volunteers; Elaine from Scotland, who came out specially to help with the camp, along with Matthias and Julian both from Germany.
Despite the intense heat and high humidity, the staff and children hardly got out of the fresh, cool, and running water.
Once again, we are extremely grateful to our friends at Melrose Parish Church, who for the last couple of years have been covering the cost of this holiday for our children. We already have another booking for next year, God willing.
|Raneem by the lake||Qais and Mazen in perfect harmony|
Two of our wonderful teachers got married in May. Fida, our social worker and teacher of Activities of Daily Living (ADL), got married and moved to the USA with her husband.
Tarteel, our Kindergarten teacher, also got married and fortunately stayed in the country and on the job.
We wish them both all the best.
Donation of Two Hundred and Five Children's Story Books
Upon a routine visit by the inspectors of the Ministry of Education, the idea of twinning between Al-Shurooq School and one of the local government girls school was discussed. Doris jumped to the idea and had the inspector call one headmistress he knew would welcome the thought.
After a brief introduction, Doris invited the lady Amal El-Sha'er, to visit the school. Amal offered to donate children's story books to the school to be transcribed and printed in Braille. On June 7th, Amal El-Sha'er arrived with her boxes of two hundred and five story books, together with the Director of the Directorate of Education in Bethlehem with three inspectors to present the books to the school. Now we are in the process of printing them out in Braille to give our children a wider choice of books to read. We are extremely grateful to Amal and her students for their generous donation and we look forward to further cooperation between the two schools.
|Doris with the Director of the
Directorate of Education in Bethlehem
|Amal presenting the
boxes of books to the school
Our friends at The Freedom Theatre in Jenin spent a full two days at the school and managed to produce a 10 min documentary about Al-Shurooq.
The Freedom Theatre - a theatre and cultural centre in Jenin Refugee Camp - is developing a professional venue for theatre and multimedia in the north of the West Bank in Occupied Palestine. Since it opened its doors in 2006, the organization continues to grow, develop and expand, enabling the young generation in the area to develop new and important skills which will allow them to build a better future for themselves and for their society.
The vision of The Freedom Theatre builds upon a unique project, Care and Learning, run by Arna Mer Khamis in Jenin Camp during the First Intifada. Her work was documented in the film Arna's Children , directed by the late Juliano Mer Khamis - Arna's son who was the General Director of The Freedom Theatre and a political activist. Unfortunately, on April 4th, 2011 at the age of 52, he was shot dead outside the theater. Killer unknown to date.
To see the documentary on “The Freedom Theater” website, click the “Watch It” link on the home page of our website at “ www.nsfvh.org”.
Children and Staff Training Course
With the cooperation of the General Directorate of Civil Defense, Department of Safety and Prevention in Bethlehem, a three-day training course was conducted to Al-Shurooq School's children and staff. The main aim of the training was to ensure their safety and knowledge of evacuation and fire control.
Safety and prevention training
Annual School Trip
The children's annual school trip this year took place on the twenty-sixth of April. For the last few years, the children's choice was to visit one of the resorts in Jericho; this year they decided to go some where else instead. They went to a park, in a town near Hebron called Halhool. The children always enjoy a change and they had fun playing on the swings and fairground rides.
We are now getting ready for our Summer programme, mainly with our teen-agers who have joined inclusive education in previous years.
More about that in our next issue of our newsletter.
Stay well and God bless.