A Cancelled Project but a Fresh Start with Online Teacher Training

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

Training in Palestine, 2019 – Catch the ball, answer a question

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CNT returns to Amman – November 2019

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

CNT returns to Palestine April 2019

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.

The teachers and the tutors on the steps of Birzeit Church, built by the Christian and Muslim community
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2011 – 2017 Summer Camps

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.

V and CNT

2014 Volunteers with Becky and Margaret ready to leave Luton for Tel Aviv

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.

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A Life-Changing Experience

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!

Children at the Camp

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.

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Running for the Trust

Charity Run

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 at the Liverpool Marathon - photo courtesy of Marathonfoto

Kathryn at the Liverpool Marathon – photo courtesy of Marathonfoto

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.

Kathryn at the Liverpool Marathon - photo courtesy of Marathonfoto

Kathryn at the Liverpool Marathon – photo courtesy of Marathonfoto

Kathryn at the Liverpool Marathon - photo courtesy of Marathonfoto

Kathryn at the Liverpool Marathon – photo courtesy of Marathonfoto