Disability in Bethlehem: a nature trip for a group of deaf youngsters from the Ephpheta Institute

Giacomo Pizzi7 October 2011

A nature trip, an immersion in the mystery of beauty: this was the experience lived by a group of disabled youngsters from the Ephpheta Institute in Bethlehem during a workshop held by the friends of the Brama association – engineers, architects and cameramen who share the passion to communicate what they most love about their work that has everything to do with the environment that surrounds us.

The workshop was part of the project “Supporting emergency education in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories” promoted by AVSI and ATS pro Terra Sancta, with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The aim of the project was to help each youngster to discover within his own surroundings an opportunity of growth and self-awareness, encouraging him or her to overcome obstacles, represented in this case by the physical limitation of deafness.

Starting from the theme of the relationship between man and the environment, of the beauty of nature and the value of Creation, the team from Brama guided the students and their teachers in a journey of discovery and sharing of the stimuli with which the external world communicates with the interior one. The “voyage” embarked upon by the group was filled throughout the week with all those silent and colorful characters in the landscape that surrounds us: trees, flowers, bushes, fruits, herbs…

Little by little, and this was the aim of the workshop, the children and their teachers developed a new method for looking at the world around them. They began to look at things in a deeper and more conscious manner. The participation was total, so much so that on the last day one of the children from Ephpheta, turning to his teachers from Brama, said: “Thank you in the name of everyone for having come here to teach us something new.”