So many young people were senselessly killed or injured during the conflict in Gaza last year. We have shared in a small way in the care of some of the injured children who found themselves being treated at the Bethlehem Arab Society Rehabilitation Hospital. Following ten months of intensive treatment, one of these children, a ten year old boy from Gaza, returns home today. He goes back to the place where his younger brother was killed beside him and a further twenty three of his family died. For the time he has been in the West Bank I have watched him bravely work so hard with all the medical and ancillary staff to recover what movement in his body that he can. During all of this time I have never seen him angry or unsmiling until today when I saw a flicker of pain in his face as he said goodbye to those who had dedicated themselves to him and his recovery. As he and his uncle were driven off to the checkpoint before travelling home I heard military jets flying high above us and with a sharp pain in my stomach I just wondered what it’s all about, that man can so easily inflict so much pain on children. No cause, no religion can be an excuse for inflicting such pain.
Monday, 18 May 2015
We were invited today to a wonderful birthday party for the daughter of one of the old students from the SOS Village in Bethlehem. She and her husband provided a great party for friends, families and some of the present youngsters from the village. A really great event.
Sunday, 17 May 2015
Graduation day today for some Hope School, Beit Jala students. I share in the enormous pride of parents and teachers for these young men and women who will now go on to university, other courses or jobs. A fantastic day for students, potential students, parents, teachers and friends all of whom came to support the graduates. Mabrook!!
Monday, 11 May 2015
Alongside the children we financially sponsor there are many others that we try to help. The monitoring of welfare and listening is so important for these very vulnerable children. Boarding sections for girls and for boys, home, school and hospital visits take much of our time. When we are actively available, ‘loitering with intent’ it isn’t too long before a youngster will come along and want to talk about football or life or what is troubling them. We feel it is very important to be available to listen without judging (except when it comes to football). Helping out with teaching in some of the schools (English and French) also takes much of our time. Today, I went to Hope School to visit the boarding section. Whilst watching television with a member of staff and the children, a small boy sat next to me and told me he was feeling unwell. We talked for a while and then he took my hand, put his head on my shoulder and fell asleep. To be trusted, to be available for young people who invariably have few to care for them is an unbelievable privilege.
A final day out to the Dead Sea, Mar Saba and Jericho before this incredibly brave youngster returns home to Gaza after nine months of treatment in The Arab Society Rehabilitation Hospital in Bethlehem. An exceptional youngster who has received such exceptional care from all the hospital staff and his Uncle who has been by his side for every minute that he has been here.