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.
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.
2014 Volunteers with Becky and Margaret ready for Tel Aviv
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.