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■House of Hope in Palestine  (2013/02/22)

With the support from The Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects by MoFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan), KnK Japan had started its educational project for children and youth in Palestine since November 2011. After 1 year, we would like to announce that we have hold a signing ceremony to start its 2nd year on 30 January.

KnK, in partnershiop with a local association VACA(Visions Association for Culture and Arts), has started the projects of non-formal education, vocational trainings and networking at Youth Center "House of Hope" in El-Alzarya in Jerusalem Governorate. These projects aim that children and youth could grow soundly in their own communities through these activities.

Since students at public schools wouldn't have enough time to learn music, art and so on, they spend a lot of time with us smiling and enjoying our activities.

We also have some activities to contribute to the surrounding communities themselves as well as each one of the children.

Today I would like to introduce 2 examples of community networking activities.

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Handicrafts and Football club at the center

1. Last week, the participants at Drama class took a taxi to go out to the suburbs of El-Alzarya. I was thinking what they're going to do here along the side of a road, and then suddenly they started digging there.

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"What are you doing?" I asked,
then one boy said "we're going to plant flowers and trees!"

Today's activity was a request from a woman living around to make a rocky ground into a garden of flowers and trees.

Digging and planting seemed to be very popular among all the children and I felt it is a good group work when I saw the older support the younger and they help each other.

One girl told me that she feels happy to see flowers and trees that she planted along the road because she is walking here everyday to get to the center.

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The older boy is helping the younger girl

We have this kind of activities once or twice every month to let people know more about our activities and to contribute to the communities. With the separation barrier between Palestine and Israel, it would be natural for the people here to think about what "our own place" means to them. We would like to play a role of enriching the communities where we live and work through activities.


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Shadows of the children in line

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2. Another example of community networkings is a meeting with mothers who raise their children in the surrounding area.
The agendas of the meeting vary from problems of raising a child  to a healthy menu. Today they talked about contemporary issues like facebook and mobile very passionately.

It is of a great help for mothers to have a place and people to talk about their issues about families and children
One participant said she is looking forward to this meeting every week because she's never had this kind of mothers meeting before around here.

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I saw some kids in the meeting too. We alwayswelcome them bringing their ownn child.

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A VACA staff with a baby of the participant at the meeting

By joining the meeting, they can see what we are doing in the ceter. If they like it, they can recommend their child to join the activities so that both parents and children can utilize the center.

In this 2nd year, we strongly would like to implement those activities that enable more children and more parents to take part in. We will continue this project, as the name of the center says, to be House of Hope for El-Alzarya.
Reported by KnK Staff Akinori Kumamoto
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