Activity with Palestinian women and children in the West Bank | Machsomwatch
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Activity with Palestinian women and children in the West Bank

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  • Study Groups and Creativity Projects with Women, Adolescents, and Children

In the course of the years, connections with Palestinian women have been formed at the checkpoints and in villages in the West Bank.  These meetings have engendered a desire for communal activity.  At the first meeting in a community center in one of the villages we decided to begin with physical activity: exercise, yoga and also the study of languages: English and Hebrew. Following this, we added several courses in art and handicrafts.  These activities received very positive reactions and they expanded to other villages.  The groups multiplied and were extended to adolescents and children, boys and girls.  There is great interest in this project, participants come regularly, invest a lot of energy and study with pleasure.  In this way, in an atmosphere of goodwill and enjoyment, the relations between us deepen and become more significant. This provides the women and the children and adolescents with an opportunity to meet Israelis who are not threatening in any way and express a desire to live together in peace. For us, it is an opportunity to learn more intimately about village life and about the challenges facing the Palestinian woman in her community. This activity is, in itself, a response the efforts of the Israeli government to create a sharp and total division between Israelis and Palestinians.  Press here for a full description of these activities.


Hoda kindergarten

In 2010, while on a trip to southeast Hebron Hills, we came upon Hoda kindergarten in the village of Hashem el Daraj.  The kindergarten was situated in a small concrete structure with a tin roof, without electricity or running water; it served 15-40 children between the ages of three and six. The village is in C area, that is under Israeli rule, but it receives no support, neither from Israel nor from the Palestinian Authority.  Very shortly after our first visit, we initiated educational activity in the kindergarten, including arts and crafts, music, and social activity.  We were assisted by an Arab woman educator and the Bedouin driver (who was paid for his services and also served as an interpreter).  In 2012 the kindergarten moved to a spacious structure, built with financial assistance from UNRWA, and was provided with running water and electricity.  Gradually warm and heartfelt relations were formed both with the children and with Hoda and her assistant.  For pictures of this project press here.


Fun and Sea for Palestinian children in the summer

Starting in 2007, every summer about 1500 children from the West Bank are taken to the seashore in Tel Aviv.  This is a project carried out by Machsomwatch, executed by four women.  The children are accompanied by adults and are given a warm welcome and hospitality.  A large group of volunteers and donors make this project possible, allowing it to expand and flourish.  If you go to our Blog and Facebook you will be able to learn more about these activities and to get a feeling of the experience that this provides for all participants.  You are all invited to join us the summers to come.