Thursday, May 9, 2013

Evangelical Lutheran School, Community and Occupation

EAPPI Standing in Solidarity with Church Related Organizations/Projects

Evangelical Lutheran School of Beit Sahour

The village of Beit Sahour is widely agreed to be the site where the angels appeared to the Shepherds who were watching over their flocks the night of Jesus’ birth. 

Beit Sahour Evangelical Lutheran School is one of four Lutheran schools in Palestine; a German missionary started this school in 1901.  The day we visited, the children were not available, but we learned a lot about the school.  The annual tuition cost per student is $650.  The school continues to work with individuals and institutions both here in Palestine and abroad seeking support for a scholarship program for needy students.

This school has an atmosphere of friendship and cooperation between teachers, students, and townspeople.  Their peace education program shares values such as democracy, non-violent conflict resolution and human rights education. 

The school administrators shared some of the problems they have from the rules of occupation when they plan to take students on a field trips.  Everyone needs a permit from the Israeli government.  Often they do not receive the permits requested.

There is an ongoing problem of three teachers who do not getting permits at all.  We EA’s will follow up with Machsom Watch, an organization of Israeli women who are active against the occupation and work for human rights in the Occupied Territories.

Co-Curricular activities including, vocational education, arts and science exhibitions, music, drama sports teams and a folklore dance group, “Dabkeh.” 

At this school, English is taught from grade one and German from grade three.  My teammate and EA from Germany, also a teacher, will be participating in some of the German classes. 

Recently a group of volunteers had painted one of the walls of the schoolyard.  Shawki Hawwash, the principal and Salim Jaber, the assistant principal, are pictured by this colorful wall.

If you want to be involved with the Beit Sahour Evangelical Lutheran School, information may be obtained on their website:

Pray for a JUST Peace in the Middle East