South Hebron Hills
Mira B. (reports), Muhammad (driver, translator and activity participant)
Goal: Activity in the Huda kindergarten in Hashem-el-Darage
Activity subject: Kaktus planting around the kindergarten building
317 road: All entrances to the Israeli settlements are covered with Israel flags and posters of "Israel authority".
About 30 kids are present, and the two teachers, huda and Haula. Amna is not present. When we arrive the kids are busy in drawing and painting, sitting around the working tables. Some kids show fluency in using the pastel crayons (not usual until few years ago), some draw all kinds of weapons. The kids are happy to see us, and run over to shake our hands.
We brought kaktus plants. The goal is that the kids will plant and continue looking after the plants. This way they might be more careful and develop responsibility for their surroundings. This is the Israeli Memorial day for the fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism – so maybe there is some symbolism in a planting and growing activity in a Palestinian kindergarten.
The kinds participate, together with the teachers, in the planting activity: Digging small holes, planting, watering. It was clear that they have never plant just anything (including the teachers). There was a big interest around the whole activity. Was lots of fun. Some kids were really enthusiastic about watering. At the end, Huda called the children for a short discussion -- probably about taking care of the plants.
Later on, during our traditional tea time following our activities, a young woman from Hebron came over, escorted by two men. She represents some Italian organization, which distributes a bag with hygiene products to each family in the village – but there is a single toothbrush in every bag! We discuss and explain our activities in the kindergarten. They are truly surprised to meet here Israelis, especially meeting Muhammad – an Israeli Palestinian. We realize that they have never met Israelis that are not either settlers or soldiers. We had a short interesting conversation with them.
Pictures of the activity – The 11.5.2016 album: