23 June 2007

Helping the precious education of three young people in Aida camp by Bethlehem

Drs Chris Burns-Cox, Robert Shearer and David Halpin were taken by Dr Ashraf Sandouka to the Aida 'camp' whilst we were staying on the Mt of Olives last March. David had been in contact for many months with Rich Wiles, a photographic artist, who has spent half of the last four years in this camp of 4000 people. Much of his time has been spent helping the Lajee Youth Centre along. This cheerful place is vital for the children especially because the gardens where they used to play are cut off now by the 'apartheid' wall. Instead of a vista of trees and a valley, they have a 28ft high concrete wall. The children take it in turns to use and enjoy the centre because it is much too small for the numbers. There is a library and a bank of computers which were busy when we visited.

Dr Chris Burns-Cox has decided to give 1000 pounds each year for the next three years to help pay for the university education of a young person who otherwise could not afford it. It is likely that this generous gift will be best used by being divided, equally or not, into three. The first transfer of this money will take place next week. (Sue Halpin kindly does all that) The D&D will add 250 pounds to the 1000 pounds, subtracting 30 for the bank handling fee. This 280 pounds comes from the Gift Aid rebate.

Nidal Al Azza, the chairman of Lajee, has thanked Dr Chris and the D&D on behalf of the centre. He will send a progress report on the three students twice a year which we will post here. This connection will keep Aida and its remarkable people stay fresh in our minds.