July 2015

News from Jeel Al Amal - improving children's lives in Palestine

Jeel al Amal school - Graduation Ceremony 2015 - celebraing children's rightsJeel al Amal school - Graduation Ceremony 2015 - celebraing children's rights

Last week, children at Jeel Al Amal - our nominated overseas charity - staged the grand finale of a one year project focusing the rights of children. The education authority spoke very highly of the school's achievements

Najwa Sahhar, the school director, is aiming to develop the music department at the school and submitted a proposal to the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music for a teacher as part of their outreach programme.

Science Club
The Palestinian education system tends towards reproducing knowledge from books, and sadly generally lacks in creative thinking. The Science Club which has just ended, was a one year project which enabled the children to carry out experiments and analyse the results. The club challenged both teachers and students to question scientific assumptions in a hands-on way. This was the first time that the children had been taught like this and it especially helped the shy ones who were encouraged to talk about and display their findings. Funding is always diffcult, but with support from friends, Najwa is confident that Jeel will be able to rise to this new challenge.

Children's Rights
As a result of a truly innovative project at Jeel, parents are getting involved in school policy, and children are arbitrating on disputes both between students and between students and teachers. It is all very progressive and exciting - particularly set against the cultural background in Palestine.

Children's rights will now be taught as part of the curriculum and a group have been trained in conflict resolution and negotiating, and it will now be up to them to try to come up with their own solutions should arguments or disagreements occur.

Now thank we all our God - with heart and hands and voices, with art and flowers and puppets...

Everybody needs somebody to loveEverybody needs somebody to love
The weekend of 26-28 June 2015 was bursting with colour and creativity we at Fareham United Reformed Church hosted both our annual Arts and Flower Festival, and celebrated the Junior Church anniversary service with the Praizin Hands puppet group from Hythe. The weekend concluded with Songs of Praise and a strawberry tea this afternoon.

The theme of the Arts and Flower Festival was based on the first eight verses of Ecclesiastes 3. Words of comfort and challenge - a descriptive stocktake of the things that comprise our human existence and the lesson is that we must act responsibly even in the face of life’s uncertainties. Displays were created by a range of local art groups, schools, churches and local charities.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

A time for reflectionA time for reflection
A time for war and a time for peaceA time for war and a time for peace
A time to tear and a time to mendA time to tear and a time to mend
Knitwitters - a time to be silent and a time to speakKnitwitters - a time to be silent and a time to speak
A time to create - waves breaking on Hillhead beachA time to create - waves breaking on Hillhead beach
A time for sun, sea and sandA time for sun, sea and sand
A time to plant and a time to uprootA time to plant and a time to uproot

The sower and the scarecrowThe sower and the scarecrow