Bethlehem School Joins Scholarship Program

February 7, 2009 ANERA
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Education, West Bank
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A student with hearing disability in class at Ephpheta school in Bethlehem, the latest addition to ANERA's Scholarship Program.

Parents who have a child with special needs often face difficult decisions when planning for their child’s education. In the Middle East, where resources are spread very thin for most Palestinian families and others living in poverty, providing a good education for a child with special needs can be a near impossible task.

In 1971, a new school in Bethlehem was founded to fill that gap. The Ephpheta Paul VI School opened its doors nine years after Pope Paul VI visited Bethlehem and declared that something must be done to serve the deaf children of this deeply symbolic village.

The school started with 24 students and today enrolls 136, all of whom receive an expert education aimed at integrating them into West Bank society. One of Ephpheta’s major goals is to empower students by instilling the drive and tools to “think critically, communicate willingly, and cooperate fruitfully.”

The addition of Ephpheta to ANERA’s Scholarship Program gives our scholarship donors another opportunity to reach into a community and to help families who need it the most, bringing solutions to parents seeking the best for their children.

The Scholarship Program now serves eight schools where children learn the skills to communicate with their families and others in their community. They get attention from special, caring teachers who help them cope with life’s challenges. And they are given access to tools that reveal their abilities.

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