| Feb 20, 2024
Bridging crisis with support
Back to school despite the war
for over 50 years the Effetà Institute in Bethlehem has been educating, rehabilitating and taking care of hearing-impaired children, allowing them to face social challenges with the awareness that deafness is not an obstacle to their future. In recent months, however, the institute has been going through a period of serious difficulty.
The situation in Bethlehem has never been so complicated: the events linked to the war in the Gaza Strip are generating a negative impact on the Palestinian population and the country's economy is facing a crisis. Since October 7th, almost all the students who attend the Effetà Institute have not left their homes. Courageously, the school reopened its doors after 20 days of forced closure due to the outbreak of the war, but unfortunately, only a few children can reach the institute and attend lessons. Most of them live far away and cannot move around as it is risky to walk the streets and cross checkpoints. Lessons continue online, but for hearing-impaired children, progress is more difficult to achieve as they need to see the movement of the lips, facial expressions and dexterity of the speaker to facilitate understanding. Many have asked to sleep at school, even on the floor, to not miss the possibility of learning and experiencing daily life with their classmates.
A year ago, there were already many problems, but in the last few months, the situation has worsened. Families are struggling and can no longer afford to pay school fees. Many workers' permits were revoked and various businesses were forced to close. The sense of fear and bewilderment is strong. For this reason, Effetà Institute provides families with a social assistance desk not only to deal with the deafness of their children but also to manage the economic and working difficulties caused by the war.
In Arabic, the word "Effetà" means "openness". It goes beyond barriers and physical boundaries, an openness linked to acceptance, inclusion and equality. Now more than ever, your support is essential to give hope to the children who attend the Effetà Institute and their families!