An empty hill with a sunset view was all Nahalin’s high school girls ever needed to drift into daydreams about their future after graduation.
Their hopes and dreams are as ambitious as they are diverse. Isra’a wants to be a civil engineer and Samar wants to study computer science. Ansam wants to study gynecology and obstetrics and Abeer is set on a career in media and broadcasting. Unfortunately, these dreams were likely to remain just that – dreams.
Nahalin is a small village of 8,500 residents, located just west of Bethlehem. Because of constraints on movement and access, the village suffers from high unemployment. Some 35% of its residents are under the age of 18. A shortage of classrooms and the deteriorated condition of existing classrooms led to a large number of dropouts.
Thanks to $1.55 million of USAID funding, ANERA stepped in under the Emergency Water and Sanitation and Other Infrastructure (EWAS II) Program to construct a brand new four-story high school for Nahalin’s girls.
Nahalin is located in a hilly, rural area so the school construction required excavating part of the hill where the school was to be built and creating a new asphalted road for students and teachers.
The new school has 25 classrooms, computer and science labs, a library, an arts and crafts room, a home economics room, administration rooms, a first aid clinic, sanitary units, a canteen, and a huge outdoor recreational area. Outside, there are sunshades, seating, water fountains and a water cistern.
The new secondary school will help ease overcrowded conditions in Nahalin’s two existing high schools. It also will boost educational opportunities, particularly for the young women of the village. The school will provide first-rate educational facilities for 500 students and a nurturing atmosphere for young women to foster their studies and opportunities for the future. The school’s construction also provided some 12,000 days of employment in an area where ejobs are scarce.
Today, the hill of dreams has been transformed into a school that will help Isra’a, Samar, Ansam, Abeer and others turn their dreams into a reality!