Building Two New Preschools in the West Bank
Anera continues to create new infrastructure for Palestinian preschoolers in the West Bank to learn in stimulating and child-appropriate environments. Our schools are specially designed to let in light and air and to create spacious areas for children to spread out and learn through experience and creativity. We are now building two new preschools, one in Abu Dis and the other in As-Sammu, with generous funding from individuals in the US. Building these preschools affirms the Palestinian community’s presence and vitality for the long term.
Anera will complete work on both schools and turn them over to their municipalities in June 2021.
Abu Dis, Jerusalem Governorate
The Abu Dis community lives in the shadow of the separation wall and suffers economically. It is home to approximately 15,000 people and hosts Al Quds University, which serves over 10,000 students from the southern and northern West Bank.
The village has 11 privately owned kindergartens, but many are not appropriate for children’s learning. Some are overcrowded and others are not well furnished and equipped or have unqualified staff. The tuition fees are quite high for parents facing difficult economic circumstances. The Ministry of Education selected Abu Dis for a public preschool that could serve children whose families are affected by urban poverty.
Anera is building the new preschool in an ideal location to serve children from poor families from both Abu Dis and other surrounding towns.
In alignment with Anera’s educational commitment to training local teachers, the center will also allow for the training of teachers from more than 35 preschools in the nearby villages and towns of East Jerusalem and will be an excellent space for the preschool and government school teachers’ professional development.
As-Sammu, Hebron Governorate
The beautiful village of Seemia is nestled in between rocky hills and winding wadis in the As-Sammu municipality of Hebron. Located 22 kilometers south of the city of Hebron, As-Sammu is the southernmost city in the West Bank. The town has a rich history dating back thousands of years. Today, As-Sammu is home to over 25,000 Palestinians. The city suffers from high unemployment, with rates reaching nearly 60% in the first half of the decade. Many of municipality residents work in agriculture or as day laborers in Israel.
Israeli occupation has had a profound impact on the area. The city is bordered by the Israeli settlements of Asael, Shim’a, and Ma’on. The Israeli separation wall makes up As-Sammu’s southern border. The Israeli separation wall makes up As-Sammu’s southern border. In 2005, 2,470 acres of land in As-Sammu and nearby towns were seized for construction of the wall.
While there are a handful of private, for-profit kindergarten classes, there are no quality ministry or charitable kindergartens catering for disadvantaged children in Seemia or the surrounding area. Anera is building a public preschool located in Seemia, along highway 60, which means that the school will be easily accessible for students in neighboring villages. The plot of land is also very close to two ministry elementary schools. The mayor’s father owns the property and he agreed to donate it for the preschool. It is a beautiful site.
Learn more about Anera’s early childhood development work in Palestine.
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