A visit to the Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre for Disabled Children
Wed Dec 10, 2014
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A VISIT TO BASMA
Two of our Trustees, Canon Iain Paton and Mr Stuart Lynch recently visited the Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre for Disabled Children which is situated on top of the Mount of Olives, not far from the traditional site of Jesus' ascension to Heaven. The reason for their visit was to present a cheque for £4,000
The Princess Basma Centre
We are often humbled by the generosity of our supporters.
In this case two quite independent churches decided to raise funds for the same purpose. This was not duplication, but rather a combined effort to produce a very worthwhile contribution. Fr Tony Axe and his parishioners in Melbourne, Derbyshire raised £1,647 from their Lent appeal. Revd Stuart Hickerman and his church in Heron's Cross, Stoke on Trent raised £1,681. The McCabe Educational Trust put these funds together and added the balance to enable £4,000 to be given to the Centre. The money was used to buy interactive steps which allow the partially sighted to negotiate stairs safely, specialized colour cards for the class rooms, and outdoor play equipment.
Stuart Lynch reports: "It was wonderful to see what a difference the flashing lights on the stairs made, giving the children confidence in a potentially dangerous situation."
From small beginnings
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The Princess Basma Centre opened in 1965 as a fledgling hospital helping Palestinian children suffering with polio and cerebral palsy. At this time Jerusalem was part of Jordan and the new centre enjoyed the active support of the Jordanian royal family. King Hussein's sister, Amira Basma, officially opened the first building and gave her name to the work. Almost fifty years later, Basma has gone from strength to strength.
Helping families cope with disability
At any one time there are up to 18 mothers living in the centre with their disabled children. They are resident during the week and go home at weekends. The rehabilitation programme deals with the whole family so that the mother learns as well as the child how best to deal with everyday life when they return home. Of the staff, 20% are disabled or have special needs and some are former patients. This work is encouraged by the Israelis who grant visas for West Bankers to enter Jerusalem, and partly funded by the Palestinian Authority. The budget, however, does not balance. The cost per day to treat one family is approximately £100 with funding of only £70. A daily heating bill for the mother and child unit.
A unique school
In 1987 the work expanded and a school was opened where disabled children could be taught alongside able-bodied in a supported environment: a unique concept at the time. Today, the school caters for 3 year olds right through to 18 year olds and of the 650 children enrolled, almost 200 have special needs, including 75 who are deaf and 33 who are physically disabled. All of the children are Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and the surrounding area. To read more about BASMA click here
We admire the Christian witness of BASMA and the way it co-operates with both Palestinians and Israelis. The McCabe Educational Trust is proud to be a partner.
This Christmas, when you are shopping for presents, do consider making a gift to The McCabe Educational Trust. Your gift will make a difference. All donations will be sent to one of the projects we support with no deductions for administration. We are happy to send your donation to your choice of project.
Please send a cheque made payable to "The McCabe Educational Trust" or telephone with a debit card or click here to donate online now.
A special thank you to McCabe pilgrims who helped us raise £70,591 during the period September through November, making a total of £255,188 raised so far this year