We are helping ANERA's work

by Celine Semaan Vernon

To Building a school in the West Bank

letter from the school principal, Amal Amr

 

My name is Amal Amr and I run the preschool in Al Majed. It’s a tiny village at the most southern point of the West Bank.

 

Actually I’m a preschool teacher, business manager and principal all at the same time. I’ve been doing this triple role for 23 years.

 

To be honest, it wasn’t what I wanted to do when I graduated from high school. I really wanted to be a painter. Art has always fascinated me. But the college I went to didn’t offer that major so I quit college altogether.

 

Then I was approached by people from a local cooperative from my village to run a preschool. Hmmm, I thought, I like kids, so why not? You know what? It was one of the best decisions I made. It changed my life.

 

The school has helped give me time for my artistic side and also gives me the chance to contribute directly to the youngest members of our community who are literally our future.

 

Every morning, I look forward to seeing my kids. I miss them as soon as we part for the day and think of them often even after they go on to first grade.

 

I have four kids of my own -- three boys aged 19, 15 and 4 and one girl, aged 11. And they were all enrolled in my preschool too. Actually, my youngest boy is here now and he loves having me around.

 

I am so proud when I learn about former students who have grown up and graduated from university because I feel that I had something to do with it.

 

The best feeling ever is when they come to the door of my preschool looking for me to check on how I’m doing.

 

My heart sings and I am more inspired to continue my work.

 

You know, I can’t imagine my village without this preschool. That’s why I have always kept it open even if I had to pay out of my own pocket. You see, the cooperative that helped me create the preschool could not afford to pay for more than a few years.

 

So, I had to manage on my own and often didn’t take a salary so I could pay for repairs and keep the place clean and tidy.

 

It was a dilapidated structure. Everything was falling apart and in bad need of repair. It was as bad as it could get. And, then the landlord recently squeezed us into two small rooms so the children had barely enough space to move around or play.

 

About a year ago, ANERA visited my preschool to evaluate it and see what they could do to help. They said the building was beyond repair.  Then, my dream came true. What ANERA has done has surpassed my wildest imagination. They are building us a brand new preschool, fully equipped and furnished. An entire building from nothing!

 

I still cannot believe it. I pinch myself every day now. Let me tell you, all the children are so excited and anxious to move into this beautiful new space. Education is so so important.

 

The families of Al Majd are grateful. And so am I.  Really.

 

 

The new school.

We are so proud to contribute in the work ANERA is doing, and you too have the opportunity to join forces with us. Together we can make a true difference.

Each scarf you purchase on Slow Factory contributes in the work ANERA does by empowering women in the under-served communities in Middle-East as well as all the women refugees in the region.

 

Filed under: ANERA dignity fund