South Hebron Hills

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Judy A., Nurit B., Mira B. (reports); Muhammad (driving, participating); Charles K. (trans.)

The purpose:  Creative activities at the Hashem al Daraj kindergarten, together with Huda

The topic:  Harvesting olives


About 20 children were present, a wide range of ages (the reason for the small number was a party at another family’s home).  The activity was intended for the older children.  The children had gone outside to eat when we arrived (most seemed to be eating pitas baked on a shallow iron dome over a fire, without any filling or side dishes).  The children were very happy and excited to see us.  They all wanted to shake hands.


The activity:  All the children went back into the kindergarten; Huda read a story about the olive harvest.  The children seemed very interested.  Apparently there was also a discussion about olive trees (we’d brought branches).  Huda had brought olives, and so had we; she distributed them to the children.


About 15 older children remained for the creative activity.  We showed a picture we’d prepared.  We handed out pages with a picture of an olive tree.  Each page had the child’s name on it – so the child could bring his picture home.  The activity involved pasting tree trunks, branches, leaves and olives made of crepe paper and tulle.  One child at each table was sent outside to bring earth, which the children also pasted on their pictures.  Then they colored the rest of the picture.  When they’d finished we hung them up.  The children wanted to take their pictures home; Huda finally decided to leave them hanging to decorate the kindergarten.


There’s a problem hanging pictures – we’ll try to continue installing nails and screws in the walls (we began last year).  The heaters haven’t been hung yet either.


A photo from the workshop:  The olive tree album, November, 2013:


“Staff” meeting:

We had tea and cookies.  We felt the activity had been very successful.  We talked about Huda continuing independently.  We’d brought large sheets of poster board on which Huda and Amana, her assistant, will draw olive trees.  Huda will work with small groups of five children; each one will cut out large leaves and olives on which their names will be written, and paste them on the tree.  That will be a joint activity for all the children.  The goal is to make more meaningful the time the children spend in the kindergarten, to work individually with each of them, and to encourage Huda to be more independent and not depend on our presence.

We learned that Huda assembles the women from the village (all of them?  Only those with children in the kindergarten?) for health education, according to guidelines from the Palestinian Authority which also supplies educational materials.  Very good!