Many disabled children live between four walls in simple houses in Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, Occupied Palestine. These disadvantaged children are not able to enjoy their rights due to life hardship under Israeli occupation and inaccessibility to education.
Mothers had to act independently to draw a smile on their disabled children’s faces. As a response, they created a small project called “Noor Women’s Empowerment group.”
The project’s idea is to give cooking classes to visitors to create an income. Moreover, they introduce the visitors to the camp’s life by offering them a place to sleep over.
“We decided to start this experience to help our children, because of the lack of money and places, the lessons took place in my kitchen despite of its small size, and the movement restriction for my family’s members,” explained Islam, one of the founders.
The project’s name “Noor” was chosen since it started at the end of 2010. It is an inspiration of the fact that it will take children from the darkness of their live in to light.
Islam illustrated that they faced many economic and social difficulties besides occupation.
“Language was another problem, but we got help from the visitors themselves and international volunteers” she recounted with a smile, “Once, I made mistakes in some words; I said during the lesson, ‘put the kitchen instead of chicken.’ Then, they all laughed as well as me after knowing my mistake.”
After one year of volunteering and saving money for disabled children in the camp, mothers succeeded in preparing a trip for 100 people including disabled children and their families.
They also raised their number from three to 13 mothers of those who have disabled children and the only providers for their families. Furthermore, they produced a booklet for their lessons and publish it on the internet.
From the saving money, they succeeded to offer tuition fees for four disabled students in private school. The families’ students could not offer the fees before they did.
All of their hard work is for the sake of their children who lost their life in a small refugee camp in Occupied Palestine and although the project “Noor” is small Project with basic equipment, it drew a smile on the faces of dozens of disable children under Israeli occupation.
“We are dreaming to establish a school to care for severe cases of disability in the camp because we need it,” Islam said with eyes full of hope.
Written By Aseel Eid