Tag Archives: Learning Enrichment

Support Needed for An Enrichment Class at Mufaqra – A Letter from Ali al-Hamamde

Dear Friends and supporters,

Since the beginning of our relationships with villagers from South Mount Hebron and from the Nablus area, we have been trying to work with the people, and not instead or for the people. At the beginning, we, members of the Villages Group, took upon us to maintain the connections with people around the world. Gradually, the villagers themselves begin to take responsibility for these connections, something that is  really foreign to their culture. This and language barriers (Hebrew and/or English) are some of the challenges we are facing and so we still have a long way to go in this regard.

Last year we shared with our friends in Israel and abroad a request for assistance in funding a learning enrichment program for the children Mufaqra (see here). The annual budget of the project is estimated at 4,500 USD / 3,300 Euro / 2,600 Pound; most of the budget is needed for salary and the remainder for supplies. We would appreciate any donation; please contact us at this email if you are able to donate. We realize that we keep on sending request for support but at the end of the day this is indicative of the dire conditions in South Mount Hebron. Hopefully together we would be able to support our fellow Palestinians friends.  

With much love, 

Erella (in the name of the Villages Group)


In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate

Hello and greetings,

I would like to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to the members of the Villages Group and to everyone who helps them help us. All of you are dedicating much attention to the people of South Mount Hebron and investing a lot of effort in trying to get to know the situation in which people are living, their needs and the areas in which they need support. 

Among other fields in which we received support, the people of the Villages Group have helped us in education. One of the ways to assist in this field is to financially support university students so they can finish their degree within reasonable time (usually studies take a long time because of financial difficulties), and return to their villages and contribute to the advancement of education there. I am one of the students who benefited from your assistance. I spent six years in university, because of financial hardships, actions of the Israeli occupation and transportation difficulties. Without your help my studies would have taken at least ten years. 

After graduating and receiving my degree I didn’t find a job, like many of my fellow students. The members of the Villages Group knew that the children of Umm Fakra need support in their studies and offered me to teach them after school hours in order to strengthen their abilities. I built a learning enrichment program and we have implemented it and maintained this framework during the passing year. Meetings were held three times a week. During these meetings we would repeat the material studied in class and solve problems the children encountered. I would identify the children who are weaker in their studies and I invested in them in order to advance them. The stronger ones also got their share, thanks to the small size of the pupils’ group. I felt that this framework answers real needs – the children came willingly and made progress. I myself felt great responsibility towards them. As someone living in the village I know how much the children need learning and educational support, in addition to what they manage to acquire at school.

What enabled this enrichment were the funds we received from you. The children, the parents and I would like this enrichment program to continue. This year too – we need your help.

I thank in advance everyone who would enable the learning enrichment program in Umm Fakra to continue this year.

With much respect,

Ali al-Hamamde

Learning Enrichment Program for the Children of Umm al-Kheir

Dear friends and supporters,

In the Western part of the Palestinian-Bedouin settlement of Umm al-Kheir are two extended family clusters of approximately 100 people, over half of whom are children. These centers perhaps suffer more from the persecution of the occupation authorities than any other place to the south Mt. Hebron. The direct reason for this that they are a mere few meters away from the Carmel settlement that was established decades after the forefathers of these Bedouin were expelled from their homes in the region of Arad following the 1948 war and, as a result, they settled in Umm al-Kheir, which was at the time under Jordanian rule. For the past year and a half on the ‘Villages Group’ blog, we have reported the efforts of the Israeli authorities to embitter the lives of residents in both centers near the Carmel Settlement, chief of which is the ongoing cruel destruction of homes.

In the daily reality of despair and distress imposed by the occupation authorities on these people’s lives, there are also lights of hope – some the result of cooperation between local residents and various organizations and groups, among them Israeli organizations and groups, such as ‘Cultural Projects ‘Mifalei Tarbut” of the Tel Aviv Hapoel football team, Taayush, and the Villages Group. Most important of all are projects resulting from local initiative – like the one discussed here, and appearing in the images.

A young local engineer, Aziz Hazalin, established a small playground for the children of one of the two clusters; an initiative that was facilitated by a donation from a Jewish-British business man. Another important initiative is a learning enrichment program for children initiated last year by Na’ama Hazalin, a local qualified teacher. This enrichment program has now functioned for a year and is run by Sara, Na’ama’s sister. For the past year, this program has been supported by the Jewish-British organization – The British Shalom-Salaam Trust. Approximately fifteen children from the second cluster, between the ages 6-14, participate in the program. In a conversation we had with the two teachers, Na’ama and Sara, they reported significant achievements resulting from the enrichment program:

  • The program enables personal attention from the teacher. The main activity takes place over the weekend when the teacher personally helps the students. Consequently, there has been a significant improvement in the children’s learning achievements, particularly in such subjects as mathematics and English, which are the focus of the program.
  • Over and above mathematics and English, there are also projects in the fields of painting, drama and story reading.
  • The particular importance of the program is that it is an intimate meeting place, within the family, where children can express themselves freely, without fear of being mocked by their peers at school.

It is our impression, based on many visits to the place, that the learning enrichment program has been a great success and should continue. Moreover, the program should be expanded to include the second center as well. There is another young woman who is willing and able to run the program in the other center.

The annual cost of running an enrichment program is $3,000 per cluster $6,000 per two clusters. We appeal to groups, organizations and individuals to help us continue and maintain, even expand this small and very important educational project.


Ehud Krinis

Villages Group