Abouna Khalil Jaar has created a safe home with his Messengers of Peace initiative in his parish in Marka, Jordan
When she was last in Amman, Margaret Waddingham, Chairman of CNT, visited two Iraqi Refugee Schools with lessons held in the afternoons in the LPJ schools at Marka and Hashemi after lessons for Jordanians had ended.
About 12,000 Iraqi Christians fled from ISIS to nearby Jordan in 2014. They are being sheltered in Jordanian parishes. As refugees, they are excluded from state education and health care and they are not allowed to work. They receive little international aid. Fluency in English helps with visa applications for better lives in Australia and Canada.
The LPJ schools offered their buildings to provide these most deserving Iraqi children with an education and a safe place in which to recover from the trauma of their flight from their homeland. Some of their teachers have attended CNT-funded training sessions and CNT promises to continue to help.
Fr Khalil, Bernard and Margaret join the afternoon assembly at Marka, Jordan
Taking advantage of the newly launched innovative Online Teacher Training courses delivered by Lewis School of English in Southampton, CNT has been able to offer continuous professional development to many LPJ teachers throughout the lockdown caused by COVID-19.
Great plans were made for the CNT Team to return to the West Bank in March to provide training for teachers in conjunction with the first LPJ Education Conference in Ramallah. Flights and accommodation were booked and timetables were organised. However, on March 10, the Palestinian Health Authority ordered the cancellation of all conferences and workshops because of the threat of Coronavirus. The CNT team was fortunate in being able to cancel all their arrangements with the only cost being part of the airfares.
The pandemic of COVID-19 halted this training – but not entirely. CNT embarked on a new strategy of training LPJ teachers online.
Training in Palestine, 2019 – Catch the ball, answer a question
The CNT Team returned in November to complete the training of our third group of LPJ teachers of English in Jordan. Since their initial training in November 2018, these teachers had gained confidence in the new teaching methods and posted their lessons on a WhatsApp forum. The photographs below show a busy workshop on its first day.
For the next three days, the tutors travelled around Jordan observing the teachers in their classrooms. The tutors were very pleased with the innovative sessions they saw and the progress that these teachers had made. Continue reading →
We wondered what we would find in the West Bank when we returned three years after our last visit. Our previous contact, Fr Faysal Hijazeen, died very suddenly in 2016. His successor, Fr Iyad Twal, the Education Director in Palestine and Israel for the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem (LPJ), was previously at Bethlehem University. He has developed a five-year programme in which every member of the educational system will receive training. CNT is providing the training for the teachers of English.
Kathryn Lland, some of whose other activities for the Trust are recorded elsewhere on this site (English Lessons and Running for the Trust) wrote the following article for the November, 2009, issue of The Vine, the Northampton Diocesan Newsletter, about the four weeks she spent in Palestine in July, 2009, teaching English in the Jifna Summer Camp. We are grateful to the Diocese and to the Vine’s editor for their permission to reproduce the text and images from the article here:
“The experience was one that can only be described as life changing and extremely thought provoking and, as anyone who has been to the Holy Land will tell you, one trip to the Middle East and you will never watch the news in the same light again!
Children at the Camp
Jifna is a small, mainly Christian village 14 miles north of Jerusalem. The annual Summer Camp runs the whole month of July and is organised for all the children in the village aged between 4 and 18 years old, 180 children in total! The Camp is supported by a dedicated team of local volunteers, university students, local seminarians and primary school teachers, who work tirelessly to give these children a summer to remember. From 8:30am to 2pm children between 4 and 12 years old are able to take part in activities including arts and crafts, music, sport, aerobics, religion and swimming lessons at the local swimming pool. From 4pm to 10pm it is the turn of the teenagers – 13 to 18.