An Update from Jeel-Al-Amal
For more than thirty years, the McCabe Educational Trust has been creating partnerships with inspiring people we have met on pilgrimage. The last five years in particular have been remarkable with more than one million pounds distributed to the people and projects we support. A main beneficiary is Jeel al Amal, a boys home and co-educational school in Bethany, once home to Mary, Martha and Lazarus.
Andy Webster visits Jeel Al Amal Boys Home in Bethany
Last week I attended the grand finale of a one year project focussing on the rights of children. A hugely innovative programme for the likes of Jeel. Children performed and the education authority spoke highly of Jeel’s achievements. Let me bring you up to date with what is happening at what has become a flagship project supported by the McCabe Educational Trust.
Help from the Edward Said National Conservatory
We are very keen to help the director, Najwa Sahhar, develop the music department at the school. Najwa has submitted a proposal to the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music for a teacher as part of their outreach programme. If successful, this would be funded by the conservatory. If unsuccessful, the conservatory will help Najwa draw up a budget and assist with recruiting a teacher. Jeel would then be responsible for the funding and this is where the McCabe Educational Trust will assist
The Science Club
The club challenged both teachers and students to question scientific assumptions in a hands-on way. This was the first time that Jeel children had been taught like this and it especially helped the shy ones who were encouraged to talk about and display their findings.
The main project this summer is the kitchen renovation. Then the laundry room and after that the dining room. The McCabe Educational Trust is donating £20,000 to pay for the much needed new kitchen. Najwa is a very persistent fundraiser and is hopeful of a capital grant from “Palestine for Tomorrow,” a local charity, to fund the laundry room. To read more click here
Children’s Rights towards a friendly environment that is non-violent
As a result of a truly innovative project at Jeel, parents are getting involved in school policy, and children are arbitrating on disputes both between students and between students and teachers. It is all very progressive and exciting – particularly set against the cultural background in Palestine.
The project began with the children completing a confidential questionnaire evaluating their school in terms of children’s rights and violence. Results were analysed and this gave the staff an insight into the gaps that exist at Jeel which in turn helped them to draw up a set of school guide-lines for the coming year.
Children’s rights will now be taught as part of the curriculum. In addition Jeel has conducted a series of intensive sessions with the parents. Another new initiative is a group of children who will intervene and try to find solutions in disputes among their peers. This specially chosen group have been trained in conflict resolution and negotiating, and it will now be up to them to try to come up with their own solutions.
All of this is new and experimental, but projects like these are definitely propelling standards at Jeel to a whole new level. Very exciting ! To read more click here
A table tennis champion
Table Tennis is hugely popular at Jeel and some of the boys are exceptionally talented. Majdi the sports coach recently took 13 year old Walid to participate in an international tournament in Bahrain. Walid was placed 8th in his competition. A remarkable result considering 22 countries took part. To read more click here
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