Project information

School of Joy Special Needs

This project aims at expanding the provision of a safe environment for educating children often from deprived families,who have special needs. It will pay for 20 additional specialist places, teaching life skills and hand crafts which enhances their future employment prospects e.g. woodcarving.

September 2014 - June 2015

Charity information: Friends Of The Holy Land

Friends Of The Holy Land logo
  • Need


    Shortage of school places for special needs children, often with disabilities, out on the streets of the greater Bethlehem area and at serious risk of harm due to exclusion from main stream education and prevailing economic and social issues. A lack of resources to assist them with their quality of life especially children who have low academic achievement and self-esteem. Children are on a waiting list, often from poorer families and their parents are in a distressed state and in need of help.


    By providing more specialist teachers in a safe environment and therefore places for pupils in the schools existing building to reduce the waiting list. By funding teachers as full time staff to encourage stability of staff and resourcing relevant teaching aids to teach practical life skills such as hand crafts including carpentry and embroidery. Create opportunities for disabled youngsters to get the full education they need.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Remove excluded children with special learning needs from the streets where they are vulnerable.


    » Employ more specialist teachers in this established, reputable, caring educational environment to deliver targeted lessons.

    What success will look like

    By providing an additional twenty places, the number on the waiting list will fall. This will prevent the growth of the population of Palestinian street children.

    Aim 2

    Provide a stable, specialist learning environment.


    » Teachers will be supported by Bethlehem University in training skills.

    What success will look like

    More teachers on the payroll helped by Bethlehem University who will provide specialist teacher training support to achieve this.

  • Impact


    Pupils will improve their ability to cope and catch up with their education enabling some of them to return to mainstream classes. Others will leave with life skills, hand crafts such as carpentry which will provide earning opportunities. e.g. carving olive wood statutes for sale to the pilgrims and tourists. Improvement to the pupils self esteem


    Risk that we are unable to attract the required teachers with specialist skills due to salary or availability issues. Jerusalem teachers earn more than in The West Bank. Deal with this risk by putting staff on monthly contracts instead of daily rates providing security of tenure and encourage staff loyalty. Strong mentoring links with the University will result in greater levels of staff retention and ensures a consistency of the teacher pupil relationship important for special needs children.


    Donors will receive a report every six months including funding analysis and expenses, pupil attendance headcount and staffing levels together with the headmasters annual report. The charity will monitor on a monthly basis audited management financial statements and report on these.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £21,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £9,100 Salary Two Additional teachers
      £5,200 Bus driver driver
      £3,800 Food Provision of school meals
      £1,400 Vehicle Running costs
      £1,500 Utilities Water; Electrics; Books; gifts; insurance
  • Background


    Located on a steep hill in the village of Beit Sahour (Shepherd's Fields) near Bethlehem in a deprived area near the separation wall between Israel and the Palestinian West Bank. The area has a mixed Arab population including Christians and Muslims in its mix and is a deprived social area with sparse public transport.


    This project is in a poor area and is open to all of the population regardless of faith or ethnicity who have children with special learning needs. The school is built in an area of high tension resulting from the Arab Israeli conflict and social and economic privations, especially poor water supply, high unemployment and sub standard local authority support due to lack of revenue. Keeping the children off the streets is a high priority due to the prevailing armed tensions.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    FHL is already embedded in assisting with the resolution of grass roots problems in the area and has the confidence and experience required to deliver the money where it is needed. FHL receives monthly audited accounts ensuring proper management. FHL has supported this school in the past three years following the conclusion of funding by CARITAS agreed at the outset for 3 years. The numbers were reduced following funding cuts and this project seeks to reinstate the full quota of students

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Abouna (Rev Father ) Mamdouh Abusada

    Headmaster and direct management link with the FHL. Fr Abusada, a Melkite priest who is the son of the founder of the school, 1993.

Nour, meaning Light reading with confidence.

Nour, meaning Light reading with confidence.


Provides full education for a child

On arrival Nour was withdrawn and uncommunicative. He now reads with confidence

Abouna Abousada