It’s All About Safety in Gaza Preschools

June 12, 2010 ANERA
Early Childhood Development, Education, Gaza, Recovery and Reconstruction, School Infrastructure
Children pose for a picture in the newly renovated PWU preschool. ANERA renovated the Palestinian Women's Union preschool after the 2009 Gaza war, painting walls, fixing bathrooms, and replacing the roof.

The Palestinian Women’s Union (PWU) preschool has long been a participant in ANERA’s Milk for Preschooler Program and the student scholarship program. With new renovations, it has one more ANERA benefit to add to the list.

The new vivid pink color of the walls transforms the preschool, which accommodates 85 children, into an oasis of fun and brightness. The renovations were a collective project. It was exciting for both teachers and students to be involved in choosing the colors for the walls.

“All the preschool teachers, along with the children, voted on pink as the main color of the preschool for the outside buildings. They also chose orange and green for classrooms, and blue for bathrooms,” said Nemaa Abu Athera, the preschool deputy, who joined the preschool in 2001.”The children loved the idea of voting on the colors.”

The preschool was transformed into a safe and colorful learning environment.

The renovation at this preschool was not only about colors, but also protecting the life of children from potential dangers. The bombings in Gaza in the winter of 2009 left a lot of damage in the walls and roof. If other strikes had happened,” said Nemaa, “We were afraid that the walls would have caved in on the children. This renovation protects the lives of toddlers from major dangers like cracks and holes.”

Other renovations included improving the water fountain system, fixing the bathrooms, and replacing the old roof with new wood. “The sink wasn’t safe, the children got wet each time they went to drink water,” said Nemaa. “In winter, it was an issue since they might catch the flu or cold.”

After the end of two weeks of renovations the children can’t stop talking about how the beautiful the colors are and how much they love the new preschool. And ultimately, they loved the participation in the color selection.

Nemaa said, as she stood in front of the pink door, “Now this is what I call a proper preschool.”

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