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 Palestine
■Experience of Creating a Website [Part 1]  (2012/10/17)

パレスチナ写真From the end of September to the beginning of October, the youth center that KnK runs in cooperation with local NGO, the House of Hope held a web workshop.  Seven boys and a girl aged 9-14 participated in this workshop planned and implemented to stimulate intellectual curiosity of children and nurture their spirits through creation of a website.  It also aimed to deepen exchanges with children in neighboring Jordan through the finished site. 

At the workshop, the children first learned how to create designs in a way they like, using a graphics program installed on the computer.  Many children drew the Palestinian flag, while a girl drew her favorite character Sponge Bob.  Unlike children in Japan, where schools offer enrichment programs, such as art and physical education, Palestinian children are not good at drawing.  The House of Hope, however, provides various cultural experiences in their youth programs, including music, traditional dance, painting, drama, and craft-making (e.g. Japanese origami and paper cutouts), which are not accessible at public schools.  Some children enjoy and are good at free drawing.

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パレスチナ写真Next, the children were taught to find and prepare information to have on the website.  The first article they wrote was about Palestine.  Then they were invited to write their own article about the House of Hope.  Some wrote their comments about the center, such as “I love this center!” and some wrote about their favorite activities and made a list of the staff members.  In the end, their articles were combined into one larger article.

A website not only requires articles but also photos.  Each child was given a digital camera and taken out of the center to take photos.  On the street with a number of businesses, such as fruit stores, accessory shops, and banks, the children pressed the shutter at whatever interested them. 

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Further ahead, at the end of the street was a big wall.  
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The surface of the wall was filled with graffiti, and among the paintings was the big logo of the local NGO Vision Association for Culture and Arts (VACA), which runs the House of Hope with KnK.
 
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パレスチナ写真The members of VACA explained that the wall is a part of the separation barrier that was built by Israel in 2003, and that since then, the lives of the villagers have changed.  For the children, it is just a wall that has been here as long as they remember, but for the adults in the village, it is the barrier that has taken part of their land and prevents them from contacting their relatives and friends living on the other side of the wall.  The graffiti on the wall reflect the villagers’ mixed feelings.
(Continue on to Part 2)

Reported by Chiharu Matsuura
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