Improved living conditions for persons with disability
The European Union and Diakonia Middle East regional office has signed a 3-years grant of approximately 1.35 million euro to improve the living conditions of persons with disability in East Jerusalem
An ambitious project introducing fresh methods
"The EU has been constantly working for the improvement of socio-economic living conditions and the protection of the rights of Palestinians in the city. This project is very ambitious and pioneering; it introduces fresh and original methods, such as music therapy, to provide improved services for disabled people and their families. At the same time, it looks strongly at awareness raising, with the firm intention to challenge discriminatory policies and practices,” said Riccardo Rossi who is the EU Head of Section for Economic Development, Private Sector, Trade & East Jerusalem Programme.
An important step forward
Ghada Harami, deputy regional manager at Diakonia in the Middle East said; “Amidst the many current pressing challenges in East Jerusalem, this project is taking a small step forward, yet an important one. Important because it addresses the urgent human rights needs of a vulnerable community in the city, living under harsh conditions, un-empowered and discriminated”.
The project will raise community awareness, in cooperation with St. Yves Society, on the rights and entitlements of people with disabilities under the Israeli law, and will assist these people and their families in realizing their rights through personalized guidance, services and legal assistance, when necessary.
A special focus on children with autism and ADHD
The project will also focus on the improvement of services for autistic children in East Jerusalem, through training the professionals of the Princess Basma - Jerusalem Center for Disabled Children (JCDC) in the treatment and rehabilitation of autistic children and children with ADHD. A new music therapeutic approach will be used with children there.
Involves parents and teachers
Awareness raising through media campaigns will be held annually for parents and teachers at partner schools. Moreover, part of this project will be the transfer of knowledge to schools in East Jerusalem on best practices of inclusive education and working with children with disabilities.
A professional from JCDC, Ms. Iman Ghosheh – ASD Facilitator who participated in the trainings on best practices in Autism, expressed that “the trainings were very helpful for us, as service providers, in particular the ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) and PECS. We had the opportunity to be introduced to different approaches of working with autism. The trainings assist Princess-Basma team to acquire comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the autism principles and approaches. Further, the trainings prepared us for the phase of practice based on the new techniques.”