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.Continue reading
May 2017 Thank You to CNT
CNT has donated £1,500 to the Latin Patriarchate Summer Camps, demonstrating CNT commitment to this invaluable project.
On May 24th, Charles Guilbert-Roed, Head of LPJ Project Development wrote:
“On behalf of Fr Imad, I thank you for your e-mail and your dedication to the Holy Land. I will confirm your donation of £1,500 as soon as we receive it.
Indeed, there is a need for summer programs that focus on spiritual, educational and recreational skills for parishes serving low-income communities in impoverished areas as well as areas of conflict. Our children and youth need to be involved in programs that provide activities to support them throughout the summer break.”
Volunteering for a Summer Camp
This is an experience of a life-time — helping, learning and so enriching. Read about the experiences of some of those forty five volunteers who, with some financial support from the Trust, went to Palestine between 2011 and 2014 to participate in LPJ parish Summer Camps. These camps keep children, and indeed the whole parish, occupied during the long hot summer months when poverty and Israeli travel restrictions make it impossible for families to travel and enjoy a summer holiday.
CNT members with volunteers ready to leave for the West Bank
In 2015, CNT gave £5,000 towards the cost of summer camps run by LPJ parishes in Palestine and Jordan.
Jifna Summer Camp
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!
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.
On Friday, March 28, 2008, Kathryn Lland, a long-time supporter of the Trust, ran in the Liverpool half-marathon for the Trust’s benefit. She invited friends and acquaintances to sponsor her by making donations through the Charities Aid Foundation at www.cafonline.org. She completed the run in 2 hours and 8 minutes, and collected more than £875 in sponsorship contributions for the Trust. The pictures below were provided by courtesy of Marathonfoto. The money will go through CNT to one or two schools in the Holy Land, including Ashrafieh, where Kathryn helped as a student teacher in September 2007.
Kathryn, sponsored by the CNT, returned to Jifna Parish in July 2009 to assist in the running of their annual summer camp. This extends over the entire month of July and offers around 120 children the opportunity to combine catechism and peace eduction with swimming courses, art, music, sport and handicrafts.
English Lessons with ‘Miss Kathryn’ and ‘Miss Emma’
In September 2007, two students from Liverpool University, Kathryn and Emma, spent two weeks at Al Ashrafieh, a junior school in Misdar. They took as many educational aids as they could squeeze in their luggage. The children responded enthusiastically to the lively, creative activities in the dual language books.
Kathryn, from Bedford, applied to the Catenian Bursary Fund, which generously gave £300Kathryn and a student towards travel costs. Bursary Fund Chairman, Peter Martin said: “We are delighted the Bursary Fund can assist Catholic students to help with education in the Holy Land. We are willing to fund projects with the Christian Schools in Jordan and Palestine”. Kathryn subsequently ran a half marathon to raise more money for Al Ashrafieh. Here are some extracts from Kathryn’s diary:
The school day begins at 7.20 am with a short assembly outside on the tarmac playground with the children lined up in their respective classes. A short drill follows and the national anthem is sung. Then a few prayers but all-in-all the assembly is kept quite short.
One family makes a difference for Ajloun school children
Following an intensive fund-raising campaign by Chris Richards and Margaret Waddingham, when over £25,000 was raised through generous donations from the Lenten Project 2008 by the parishioners of Our Lady of Grace and St Edward in Chiswick, a dream came true for the teachers and pupils of Ajloun School in Jordan. The money raised was used to purchase and install computers with the latest Microsoft software for small businesses. The project recruited the help of Chris’s family and made use of the various talents which enabled them to run the charitable venture through from fund raising to providing and installing these up to date computers. Now, with the very latest technology, Ajloun School Ajloun students with Tony Richards can create a centre of excellence for its pupils and indeed offer support and training to other Schools within the Latin Patriarchate.
Chris, accompanied by his brother Tony, who is a director of the Guildford based company Computer Strategies, and Tony’s two sons Sam and Jo, travelled to Jordan on the 1st November 2008. They set about sourcing chairs and desks for the newly refurbished computer room, installing 12 new computers and its network and finally training both the staff and pupils on the new technology.
Tony, in charge of the technical side of the project, confirmed that the venture was an experience for all involved. He was very impressed at how quickly the children mastered this new software. With the aid of an interpreter, they quickly overcame the language problem, even when training the teachers on the more technical aspects of the software. “This is the first charitable venture our company has undertaken, and we’ve been delighted to offer time, expertise and financial assistance Pupils and teacher using the new computersto this cause.”
Thanks to Chris, Margaret, Tony, Sam and Jo, and their tireless efforts, this school now has a fully refurbished computer room, which has benefited from redecoration, new furniture, curtains and state of the art technology to give the school’s pupils an opportunity to work with up to the minute software in a modern and businesslike environment. The team left Ajloun on the 10th November after attending a surprise banquet provided by the teaching staff who had brought food from home, and just prior to departure they received an emotional ‘thank you’ from all the school’s staff and pupils.
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