“When we started the preschool 14 years ago, everybody would say your activities are great, but the building is dull and dark,” said Mona Saeda, director of Light of Hope Preschool in the Shaafa area of Gaza.
“We have not been able to paint the preschool. But, each year, the Ministry of Education stipulates painting as a requirement for receiving a license to run the school.”
This is where Anera has stepped in — painting walls, fixing locks, installing water taps and repairing broken windows. The renovation is part of Anera’s preschool renovation project which began in the summer of 2009. Twelve preschools have been renovated and there are many more to be done on the list (download a fact sheet about the project ).
Inside the colorful classrooms, the children are back and enjoying their fun activities. The children start their day by singing to their lovely preschool and teachers, but they add one more rhyme to the song. “Light of Hope, my favorite preschool, I love your colors – pink, white and blue.”
Going through the back door, the preschool looks totally different with the new water taps.
“The holes of the roof had been filled with dough to prevent the water leaking in winter. We used to cover the windows with Nylon or towels to stop the leaking. But it didn’t work most of the time,” added Mona.
With more than 125 children coming daily to the preschool, it has become a lovely and enjoyable place. “In the past, when the electricity went out, the preschool was very dark. But now, even with no electricity, the bright colors make the school look vivid and brighter,” she said.
Mona also recalled that each year, she, along with the teachers, colored the old drawings that lined the walls in order to make them look new. But year after year, the drawings become darker and less discernable. “Thank you, Anera, for bringing light and hope to the Light of Hope Preschool,” said Mona.