Gaza Preschool Gets Major Upgrades and Splash of Color

November 14, 2009 ANERA
Early Childhood Development, Education, Gaza, School Infrastructure
The Zahrat Rabee School is one of dozens of preschools ANERA has renovated, creating jobs for hundreds of Gaza workers. The Zahrat Rabee School is one of dozens of preschools ANERA has renovated, creating jobs for hundreds of Gaza workers.

Located in a remote area of Khan Younis, on Salah Al Deen Street, Zahrat Rabee Preschool, just like its Arabic names suggests, resembles a spring flower with its renovated building and freshly-painted walls. Zahrat Rabee, which had joined ANERA’s Milk for Preschoolers Program a year ago, is one of 10 schools ANERA has renovated this summer in Gaza.

“The preschool was not suitable for children. After the war, many parts of the preschool were seriously damaged and became unsafe for the preschoolers,” said Intisar El Amarinim, director of Zahret Rabee.

The preschool renovation project will reach over 1,800 children in war-damaged Gaza communities.

Intisar recalled the situation of the preschool: “The school suffered from a lack of water. We had no water-tanks on the rooftop to store it. Every teacher had to bring a bottle of water with her to school, to quench her and her students’ thirst for the entire school day,” said Intisar, who has spent 25 years working with preschoolers. “We also had to buy water which was a huge burden, considering our very limited budget.”

The schoolyard and classrooms accommodate up to 67 preschoolers and 6 teachers during the school year. Intisar is expecting more toddlers this year after the renovation. “The pink and blue walls and nice murals will encourage parents to enroll their children,” she said.

ANERA installed water tanks on the rooftop of the preschool and a generator to pump water, in addition to water taps and sinks for cleaning and drinking. The new renovations have turned the preschool into a safe and peaceful place to play and learn.

“Since we have started working with ANERA, life here has totally changed. The nutritious snacks and the beautiful preschool make me certain that the kids will start the next school year with flying colors.”

ANERA’s five-month project will affect approximately 1,800 preschoolers in vulnerable and war-damaged communities. ANERA will ensure that doors, windows, toilets, play areas, window shades, drinking water and sanitation facilities are returned to proper working condition and made suitable for the preschool’s needs.

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