It is great to see photos of another Kennington Bethlehem Link member’s visit to Bethlehem.
This time our Chair, Pat Gaffney is in Palestine for a two week stay with Pax Christi.
Here is Pat’s account of her visit:
On a recent visit to Israel and Palestine I had an opportunity to visit a project we support in the Aida Camp, Bethlehem. There I met Mohammad Abu Srour and Anas Abu Srour, two young men who coordinate projects for children in the camp. The camp is home to around 5,000 people, 1/3 of whom are children. It is in a hot spot, right up against the wall that separates the West Bank from Israel and near one of the largest checkpoints.
The Youth Centre where they work provides after-school sessions for primary aged children, music and art workshops for children and young people. The classes supplement the work of the UNWRA school, experiencing fragile times as US funding to UNWRA has been cut. Palestinian staff in schools throughout the West Bank have been on half-pay, sometimes no pay, for months because of disputes about taxes between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli Government.
This summer they ran a successful camp to offer the children some creative respite. While there I visited two maths classes run by young women volunteers and heard about the music workshops, offering sessions on keyboard and oud, run by Tareq Abu Salameh. Listening to three young women playing in a neighbouring room while we talked provided a beautiful sound-scape to the visit.