The children in one of the classes
I visited Al Aqaba village on Sunday 14th of March. When you come to this tiny village, it’s very quiet until reaching the center when you start to hear the children voices all around you. Their lively voices and laughter bring life and energy to this place, even as the sounds of heavy weapons and machine gun training at nearby Israeli military camps would overwhelm the human voice of existence.
The children are happy and active. They sing songs to me and let me into their world.
"I like coming to the Kindergarten to play with my friends and have fun"
"I like learning the alphabets and singing songs here"
"I like to draw plans"
It was clear how the kindergarten offers an important space for these children to live and grow.
Kindergarten principal Noha said, "The kindergarten is the energy dynamo of Al Aqaba village and the essential element of life here. It's like the minaret in the middle of the sea. Even when parents come to pick their children they like to stay around for a while and hang out in the playground. It's the only outlet for everyone here and the source of good feelings for everyone around."
I want to say we’ve got to do better at raising funds for scholarships.
The kindergarten, like all early childhood education in Palestine is private and it depends upon tuition to pay staff and expenses. Sadly Noha, the principal told me that ten children dropped out since January this year. And almost all students have not paid their fees for January and February. This might result in more students quitting as it embarrasses parents when they cannot pay tuition. It certainly puts financial pressure on the administration. Many students haven't paid for many months from last year and tens can't even join the kindergarten.
“We want to give all children the opportunity to come to school, and we want to hold on to our students and give them the best learning experiences, however it’s hard with the limited resources and difficulties we face,” said Principal Noha.
It is not just the kindergarten building that keeps the whole village standing — it's the wonder and hope of all these children. I hope you will continue to support Kindergarten Scholarships for Palestine – especially the Kindergarten in Al Aqaba.
P.S On Wednesday, March 18th you can stretch your donation to Kindergarten Scholarships further! It's a Global Giving match day and all donations up to $1,000 will be matched by 30% starting at 9 a.m. EST. Set your alarms!
Happy children having good time
Proudly showing the first alphabet of his name !