July 2011

ATS pro Terra Sancta continues its involvement in combating disability

New sessions for sensitizing, educating and bringing up-to-date teachers, parents and workers in the Palestinian sector on the delicate issue of disability. ATS pro Terra Sancta has during the past week carried on a series of meetings on the theme of functional psychomotor skills in collaboration with the Istituto Superiore Formazione Aggiornamento e Ricerca (ISFAR) and the Ana Insan initiative, along with the latter’s  founder and organizer of the meeting, Professor Sami Basha.

The course was conducted with great determination and passion by Professor Paolo Ricci, a teacher at ISFAR specialized in functional psychomotor skills. The initiative was welcomed by the Ministry of Health in Jenin, the Star Mountain Rehabilitation Center of Ramallah, the Ephpheta Institute of Bethlehem, as well as the University of Hebron.

In the Occupied Palestinian Territories the percentage of people suffering from disabilities is very high: around 170,000. Disability is frequently seen as a taboo, as something to be ashamed of: this is due principally to cultural heritage, frequently aggravated by lack of knowledge and of appropriate structures in which disabled people can receive assistance.

However, Palestinian society currently appears to be undergoing a marked change in this regard: civil society is moving to create small associations of parents and organizing educational meetings on the theme of disability, specialist centers for rehabilitation are being established, as well as daycare centers for disabled individuals in which they can benefit from programs to aid the development of their motor and mental skills.

ATS pro Terra Sancta is accordingly continuing to promote initiatives to sensitize teachers and social workers in the Palestinian territories who are concerned with the education of disabled children. ATS pro Terra Sancta’s support for disabled children and adolescents in the Gaza Strip through its project “Emergency Gaza” should also be remembered.

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