This week we visited in Huda’s preschool at Hashem Al- Daraj (sometimes known as Umm Daraj). It is located in the Judean desert deep inside area C of the Oslo accord map.
[update: the report linked above to Hashem Al-Daraj’s name, a report authored by the Palestinian Authority, has many inaccuracies. Among other things, it says that Huda’s preschool had closed. As we testify here, it is still open! The PA has no real presence at Hashem Al-Daraj, like in most of area C, and its reports are based on indirect sources]
My three colleagues (all of them experts in education for early age) and myself, were the first foreigners ever to visit this preschool, so naturally the kids were afraid of us in the beginning.
Huda’s preschool opened some four years ago and it survived until now with almost no facilities and no budget. Huda works alone there with more than 20 children, and receives a monthly salary of $140 from an NGO in Hebron. In such conditions, all the other preschools that opened in this Bedouin peripheral area at the same time as Huda’s, had closed long ago.
Certainly, Huda is a local hero of the noblest kind.
Working in almost complete isolation, Huda was very much pleased from our visit, and thanks us for the toys we brought to the children, donated by some good Israelis. Still, it seems that what this preschool lacks the most is an annual budget which would enable Huda to purchase the most basic means – items needed for the operation of every preschool, such as blackboards, paper, pencils, etc.
If you send us donations designated for Huda’s preschool, we will use them entirely for that purpose.