The school’s mission becomes extra meaningful when you look at the immediate surroundings. Because the school is located in the occupied Westbank, pupils are regularly confronted with the consequences of occupation: the separation wall that runs through Bethlehem, military checkpoints, agression, road blocks, soldiers in the streets. Many pupils have some form of trauma in various degrees of depth, that influences their behaviour and academic results. Many children also are affected by poverty, malnutrition and lack of perspective.

Hope Flowers School offers these children education and support in a safe environment, and has been doing so for over 30 years. The school’s mission is explicitly humanitarian, and is realised via the curriculum and care for the children. The approach is holistic, it’s a mix of education, physical care, psycho-social support, and a building that is also accessible for handicapped children. The fact that this approach has been taken for over 35 years is a clear sign of continuity. And now sustainability is coming into the picture with plans for water recycling and solar energy, even as these developments are not obvious in the context of Westbank economic restrictions imposed by occupation. For Hope Flowers School, sustainability is linked to self sufficiency, thus enhancing independence.

Hope Flowers