Al Shurooq School
Al Shurooq School For The Blind was founded in 1981 with the aim of enabling blind people in Palestine to become self sufficient and productive members of society. Ruba, the Headteacher of Al Shurooq, speaks passionately about how they are still working towards including as many children as possible into mainstream education, as long as they are ready. Currently there are 40 pupils at Al Shurooq. Eleven are from the Bethlehem area who live with their families. The rest are generally from the Jericho/Hebron areas, who board during the week.
Al Shurooq itself is trying to focus on working more with children with multiple disabilities, as there is no provision for them elsewhere. They want to become a resource centre, particularly in terms of training teachers with the necessary skills and stop being a dumping ground.
Their Christian and Muslim staff emphasise human values common to both faiths, particularly in terms of respecting others rights. The staff have been visiting families in their homes with the aim of educating mothers and to help them have confidence in the work. Muslim families who live in very tight communities are resistant to their children boarding at Al Shurooq. Overall I was impressed with Ruba’s emphasis on working with the children’s families to get their trust in the work that Al Shurooq is trying to deliver.
By Rosemary Nutt