South Hebron Hills, Thu 21.4.11, Morning
Translation: Bracha B.A.
We drove to Um al Khair, where we joined Hamed in his jeep to go to Hasham al Daraj ("The nose of the terrace")
On road 317 there is a lot of traffic around the settlement of Sussia.
Um al Khair
We met a group of volunteers from the village group. Most of the houses in the village are built without permits since there are no permits to build underneath the Carmel fence, and there are demolition orders in the village.
We also stopped at the kindergarten in Um al Khair which was painted in bright colors. There is a water tank on the roof that provides "running" water in the faucets. The teachers are very proud of the spices growing in the flowerboxes.
The Kindergarten at Hasham al Daraj
The kindergarten was unrecognizable. The walls were covered with pictures with numbers in Arabic – all made by the teacher, Huda, who is extremely creative. The last time we were here the walls were bare concrete. It's nice to think that maybe we had some part in bringing about the change.
The children know us and came to shake out hands excitedly. We tried to organize a group musical activity inspired by the workshop led by Felicity Lorenz in which Huda also participated. We brought various percussion instruments. Huda chose a song about different parts of the body and despite the language difficulties and with Hamed's help translating we managed to arrange for a different musical instrument for different parts of the body. Huda sang with the children and the musical instruments came in more or less at the right time. It was successful compared to the first time because of the group activity that also gave an opportunity for the children to express themselves. Unfortunately we could not leave the musical instruments, but we will attempt to arrange for others to be brought for the kindergarten to keep.
We will try to arrange an art activity for next time until we can find a professional who speaks Arabic. We also plan to try and organize a workshop for kindergarten teachers in Um al Khair.
The construction is about to begin and building materials that were brought by UNWRA are already at the site. They will begin by building in front of the present kindergarten and to build bathrooms near the septic tank, since there are none there.
We pair Huda her salary for the month of April from the British Shalom-Salaam Trust and left with a good feeling.