Photo Credit: The Princess Basma Centre for Children with Disabilities
[ACNS] A newly renovated children’s department at the Princess Basma Centre for Children with Disabilities, a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, has been inaugurated by the Archbishop in Jerusalem, the Most Revd Suheil Dawani.
The Princess Basma Centre, on the Mount of Olives, was established in 1965 and works for the integration and empowerment of children with disabilities and their families in their communities through physical rehabilitation, inclusive education, the development and dissemination of best practices. The centre also works to influence policy and legislation in the area.
The centre provides comprehensive rehabilitation services for children with disabilities, particularly with those living with cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, head injuries, osteoporosis, neuromuscular diseases and burns. It also works with children who have learning difficulties, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Its physiotherapy clinic also serves adults; and it has an inclusive school for children with and without disabilities; as well as a sheltered workshop providing vocational training for people with disabilities.
The newly renovated children’s rehabilitation department, commissioned by Archbishop Dawani this week, will “provide quality and comprehensive services to children and their families in a holistic way,” the Diocese of Jerusalem say. “It is composed of rooms for music therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy as well as a sensory room: one of the few and most advanced in the country.”
The renovation was funded by a generous donation from the Islamic Bank for Development and supported by the Czech Republic, the Welfare Association, the European Union and Diakonia.
“It’s encouraging that after 50 years of ministry, the Princess Basma Centre continues to reach out to the most vulnerable children in our society,” Archbishop Dawani said. ”The heart of our ministry at Princess Basma is best expressed in Matthew 25:40: 'Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
In his speech, Archbishop Dawani thanked all the staff and workers of the Princess Basma Centre for their tremendous efforts.
“Without the efforts of the staff, engineers, contractors and the generosity of the Islamic Development Bank, this project would not have been possible,” the centre’s director general, Mr Ibrahim Faltas, said. “This is a great opportunity for the centre to continue to serve as one of the four largest national rehabilitation centres in Palestine in the provision of rehabilitation services for children.
“Through our newly renovated child rehabilitation department we continue – as we did for the last 50 years – to provide rehabilitation services for children with disabilities that come to our centre from all over the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem. Those children receive the necessary therapies that they are in need of in order to lead healthy and independent lives.”
The Palestinian Authority’s Governor of Jerusalem, Mr Adnan Husseini and the local consultant for the Islamic Development Bank, Mr Hani Abu Diab, joined representatives from a number of partners and donors at the inauguration festivities this week.