New Playground Helps Gaza Kids with Disabilities

October 25, 2010 ANERA
Categories:
Community Development, Early Childhood Development, Education, Gaza, School Infrastructure
Locations:
Young Gaza girl with Down Syndrome enjoying the new playground ANERA installed at Right to Live Society. Young Gaza girl with Down Syndrome enjoying the new playground ANERA installed at Right to Live Society.

In the eastern part of Gaza, the Right to Live Society stands out visually as a large, bright, multicolored structure. But, more importantly, it stands out because of its mission: to provide a nurturing learning environment to children with Down Syndrome and Autism.

Established in 1993, this non-profit provides the tools for these children to live as productive members of society. Through dance classes, arts and crafts, carpentry, and more, the Society aims to help these citizens of Gaza and to raise awareness throughout the region about what their graduates can contribute to their communities.

Having a safe, outdoor place to play is extremely important for children with Autism and Downs Syndrome.

Recently, ANERA has been able to make a welcome addition to the Society’s offerings. With Playgrounds for Palestine, ANERA has installed a new play space for the children, designed and constructed locally with raw materials that came from recycled metals available inside of Gaza.

“For these children,’ says Nabil Juneid, manager of the Society’s psychosocial program, “Playing is much more than just a recreational activity. It helps the children relieve stress while maintaining fitness. It also helps them use their energy productively. The children use their muscles when jumping, climbing and sliding around. And, although it’s safe, the they are always accompanied by their teachers or supervised by coaches.”

Gazan boys with disabilities enjoy climbing and hanging from colorful new playground equipment ANERA installed at Right to Live Society.

Children in Gaza with disabilities enjoy climbing and hanging from new playground equipment ANERA installed at Right to Live Society.

When play time arrives, the children quickly assemble behind the two coaches, Alaa Qadoom and Abdallah Hamdan, and eagerly await their guidance. Both coaches have received specialized training and are able to offer various types of assistance as needed.

A ground of Gazan children with disabilities waving from their new playground, installed by ANERA at the Right to Live Society.

Kids in Gaza are happy with their new playground.

“Sports are very important to the children and benefit their muscle development. The activities mobilize their bodies and teach them how to control their movements,” said Alaa Qadoom.

To the children, though, the health benefits couldn’t be further from their minds as they climb, swing and slide. Their happy faces and loud laughter make it clear that for them it’s all about having a good time.

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