Children’s playful laughter tickles the quiet air of Izbat Almdawar, an agricultural village infused with the zest of citrus trees and scent of flowers.
With the permission of Ms Jamalat As’ad, 30 kindergarten students race to the playground after a long day of learning. This the only educational institution in Almdawar. Children travel to neighboring villages to attend elementary and high schools. The kindergarten was built by ANERA with funding from the U.N.’s International Fund for Agricultural Development.
“The construction of this kindergarten has helped these young children immensely, since travelling to another village is costly and difficult,” says Jamalat.
Nagham, a five year-old student, loves playing on the swing the most. She tucks her hair behind her ears as a breeze sways it back and forth. She is determined and confident in her answer when asked about her future profession, “Nursing,” she says. “I love helping people.” Nagham is one of the most impressive students at the school. She already knows the whole Arabic and English alphabets and can even translate numerous Arabic words into English. “Boy, school, girl, window, apple, juice,” Nagham answers her teacher correctly each time.
“I believe in the right to a proper education,” says Miss Jamalat, “and I really hope for a better future – devoid of barriers and obstacles – for the children of Almdawar.” A wall encircling the village separates it from an Israeli settlement on a nearby hilltop.
The school, humble as it may be, brings tremendous hope and promise to the people of the village and plants the seeds of education and ambition in the village’s vivacious children whose laughter echoes beyond the wall.