Supporters and volunteers have been helping village schools in Burin and Madama in the West Bank since 2010. For a summary of our earlier projects, please click here.
Predictably this year has been slower due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our trustees have been unable to visit the West Bank so newly forged links with schools have to wait. Please see News for more information on pending projects with our existing contacts.
Bruqin School playground – renovation of the playground with a grant of about £1900 was finally completed in early summer – letting loose a stream of schoolchildren onto swings, slides, springs, tunnels and other material. These photos, taken by the local coordinator, give an idea of the huge enjoyment this project has given. NB some were taken before renovation was completed so ignore areas of chipped paint!
Urif Secondary school – the badly leaking roof (below) was repaired in early 2020 with a grant of £4000 from the OHT. This also included the local purchase of two lap-tops for teachers.
Burin Community School‘s agricultural project which we first glimpsed in 2018 (read about its beginnings here) has expanded massively, partly thanks to OHT funds. We financed two additional polytunnels which are up and running, filled with rocket, parsley, chilli peppers and lettuce (below).
Madama Girls School The sturdy, custom-made podium (below) that we funded last year was in place in the playground, enhanced by an astro-turf cover! One of our trustees gives an idea of the scale. Money left over from this grant was used to buy art materials at a local shop, so helping the Palestinian economy and encouraging creativity.
Urif Boys School This isolated school has suffered repeated attacks from settlers from Yitzhar as it was built high above the village, next to an access road and not far from the settlement. We know and respect the headmaster, Ayed Al-Qot, from his previous post at Madama Boys School, and want to help as much as we can to make conditions more acceptable.
Our decision to fund a protective wall to ensure a safer environment for the 200 students was backed by two other NGOs which provided a gate and canopy. The result should hopefully stem the appalling violence.
After our successful meeting in 2017 and initial small donation, Madama Girls’ School benefited from more OHT funds in 2018. Thanks to her immaculate paperwork, the headmistress, Nawal Mahmoud Rabay’a, was given £1250 to build a platform in the school playground for dance performances and speeches. This was top of her wish-list and should be completed in early 2019 by local craftsmen. With some £80 left over, we were able to buy art materials in Nablus. Big smiles all round.
Let there be music…in Burin
On an equally positive note, we were able to contribute to Burin Community School’s newly formed school orchestra. Three trustees accompanied the recently appointed music teacher, Ihssan Foqha (an accomplished oud-player) to a well-stocked music shop in nearby Huwwara armed with a list of desired instruments. The two-hour shopping-trip was greatly helped by Ihssan’s brother, a professional musician.
The final selection included a Yamaha keyboard with stand, two ouds, a guitar, tabla, xylophone, drum-kit, plus other drums and tambourines, totalling just over £1500 – with a discount. Two days later, some of us witnessed the first music class in a newly created Music Room at the school. Click here to enjoy the video!
It was officially inaugurated a week later with a representative from the Ministry of Education. Speeches, flags, laughter, dancing and music made it a memorable occasion and OHT representatives were given a ‘thank you’ plaque from the school. This was all visible proof that music is a wonderful therapy for these children and a means of bringing them together creatively and joyfully.