31 January 2018

Princess Basma Center: helping disabled children

This operation was created under the umbrella of the diocese of Jerusalem and is one of the most important organizations for children with disabilities in Palestine: it offers them therapeutic services and it facilitates their integration in the school system.

Christians in the Holy Land

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The Princess Basma Center was founded in Jerusalem in 1965 under the umbrella of the Anglican Church. Today it is one of the most important charitable organizations that assists children with disabilities in Palestine: it offers several rehabilitation services, besides helping their families take care of their children in the privacy of their own home.

Some of the noble objectives that the Foundation hopes to reach include the integration of these children in the community, besides being able to see them hope and smile again.

Princess Basma Center – General Director
"Every year, we work in this section with about 800 children, especially from the West Bank and from Jerusalem; only some of them come from Gaza. For those who live in Jerusalem, we offer a school, where disabled children attend classes with the healthy ones. This year, out of a total of 400 students, one third is disabled. The teaching method is in conformity with the Palestinian programs, adopted in all schools ".

Mo'men, from the Bidya village, suffers from autism. His mother Azziya accompanies him to each treatment session to help him receive a special training that will allow him to develop his skills through play.

Princess Basma Center - Mother of a child
"This is the third time my son and I have been admitted to this center. I had a very positive experience, which allowed me to learn how to take care of my child, how to teach him new things and how to improve communication with him.”

In the pediatric physiotherapy unit, Amr, from Nablus, who suffers from motor disabilities, undergoes treatment sessions, under the watchful eye of her caring and inspired parents.

In the multisensory room, Bassant, from Hazma, looks around, accompanied by the trainer, amid soft lights that stimulate his senses to distinguish color variations. In the speech therapy unit, Ayah al-Battat sits with the operator while her mother watches her attentively, waiting impatiently to hear her voice.

Qualification Services Coordinator
"The main distinguishing factor between the Princess Basma Center and the other centers is that the Princess Basma Center offers an all-encompassing service, including physiotherapy, ergotherapy, speech therapy, music therapy and hydrotherapy. All these treatments help the child to improve in different areas. We look at a child as a person in his entirety: if the child is not able to walk, for example, we do not just concentrate on the child's legs, but on the child's total health. A week after being admitted to the center, we hold a meeting with the medical staff to discuss the case and then we define the objectives; we set up a program. After 2-3 weeks, the child returns home with a plan to follow, under the guidance of his mother, previously trained by our staff.”

Being able to experience this journey in a family environment while being followed by their parents and being able to go to school with the other kids, are elements that help the guests of this center take giant steps: in this way, they can grow, one step at a time.