Hope Flowers School: Review of HFS activities in 2014

 

En attendant la soirée du 16 avril 2015 où nous espérons vous voir nombreux voici la dernière newsletter de l’école. Un très court film sur la vie des enfants sera présenté lors de la soirée.

Acknowledgement

On behalf of students, teachers and staff, I would like to thank you for your generous support and solidarity with HFS. Your support enabled us to serve the children and our community. Thank you for being there!

Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

The United Nations Committee for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) reported the acceleration of ‘de-development’ of the Palestinian Territories in 2013 and 2014.  The report underlines deterioration of the Palestinian economy, largely rooted in the occupied territories status, has resulted in weak growth, a precarious fiscal position, forced dependence on the Israeli economy, mass unemployment, wider and deeper poverty and greater food insecurity. Palestinian women continued to bear the brunt of occupation, condemning them to one of the lowest labor participation rates and the highest unemployment rate in the world. Further, unemployment remained extremely high, 22 % in the West Bank, and only one in four households was classified as “food secure” or having reliable access to food while one in three households was classified as food secure in 2011.

Children in HFS

HFS have 300 students (Male and Female, 4-13 years old) in which 80% of them are coming from less privileged areas (refugee camps and villages around Al Khader) and from less privileged families are enrolled the school from kindergarten till K7. 70 out of 300 students at the HFS are Chidren with Disabilities(CWD), specifically children with LD, PD and developmental disabilities. These children are integrated in various classes in HFS and in different levels in K1 through K6. HFS provides the following services for CWD.

Inclusive Education

HFS provided a full curriculum of standard education for grades K-1 through K-7, with a philosophy dedicated to Peace & Human Rights. Consistent with its philosophy to promote social justice, HFS started in 2004 to integrate children with disabilities into the school. By school integration, we mean disabled and non-disabled children being taught together, which can go a long way towards preparing for later integration into society. The disabled children will be given remedial lessons where necessary, but will participate in normal lessons as far as possible and remain an integral part of the class. Yearly, there are about 100 children with disabilties referred to HFS for SE and rehabilitation services.

Day and Afternoon program

HFS is providing some unique programs and services for children in the West Bank. These programs benefit not only HFS's students but also children from other schools in the West Bank. HFS runs an afternoon program from 14:00 - 18:00 PM. children received remedial education, psycho-social counseling and sport program.

Psychological support program

PictureThe Psychological Support Program at HFS started few years ago and has been continued and expanded since then. The major goal of the program is to provide counseling and psycho-social support to teachers, students and their families who are suffering of severe psychological problems resulting from being in an area where violence has formed part of daily life. Psycho-social counseling was provided for children and adults, individuals and groups. In addition, a series of trainings, workshops and seminars targeted at parents have taken place.

The program helped to empower children, social workers, and teachers and to train them how to deal with physiological problems and hardships.

Well being of Children: Providing meals to children

Children at the HFS having hot mealA large number of the children’s parents at the Hope Flowers School (HFS) are unemployed and cannot meet basic needs in their households. UNCTAD report for 2013/2014 indicated that food insecurity affects 2/3 of the Palestinians. In another research of Caritas-Jerusalem research, it indicates that 56% of Palestinian children are suffering of malnutrition. Since few years, HFS has provided hot meals for young children three times a week. The school needs financial support to continue the program for 2015. Improving the health situation of the children will help improve their academic performance at school. Children received milk and fruit for breakfast (lots of children come to the school even without breakfast); a hot meal for lunch (including meat, chicken or fish).

Child sponsorship Program

The unemployment among the parents of pupils at HFS exceeds 30%. Lots of families are classified as poor and could not afford the basic needs of their children. Therefore, HFS provides scholarships for children in need. More than 70 of the 300 students at the school benefit from our scholarships program. People can sponsor the education of a child for US$500 per year.