Repair and revitalization of the Um al-Khair kindergarten | 7.9.2020
GSC & Um al-Khair push forward
Despite the restrictions of Covid-19, the Good Shepherd Collective continues to find ways to help communities in material ways. While the community of Um al-Khair has successfully invested in developing a community center and playground for the children, the educational facilities in Um al-Khair are in dire need of revitalization. Currently, the children of Um al-Khair have to walk about 45 minutes every day to make it to school, which can oftentimes be a scary experience for them because of the presence of Israeli military and settlers. Additionally, during the cold winter months, the paths are often cold, wet, and muddy. Their education is routinely impacted by their environment. Intervention is needed to sustain and advance the children’s educational trajectory and provide for them opportunities to create a different future for themselves.
Because of the limitations of building new structures imposed by the Israeli Civil Administration, the only way to create a physical space is rehabilitating buildings and structures already in place. Repairing and revitalizing the kindergarten (an old school bus and a small adjacent building) would create additional supplementary services in the community of Um al-Khair, providing for 69 children under the age of 18. The Good Shepherd Collective, in coordination with the community of Um al-Khair, will repair the kindergarten, making it a suitable place for mothers and community members to organize additional educational and social programming throughout the year for the children.
While the physical structures are in stable condition, the roofs are leaking and are need repair. Appropriate bathroom facilities need to be built. Because of the cold winter months, holes in the windows and proper doors need to be installed. Additional insulation and proper indoor paneling need to be put in place to keep out the elements during the windy and rainy seasons. Lastly, the outdoor grass matte in the playground area needs to be moderately repaired and expanded.
The majority of the cost of the repairs will be in materials, most of which will cover the expense of repairing the roof, insulating the walls, and installing new windows and doors. While volunteer labor will be used in the majority of the work, having skilled laborers to ensure proper installation of the windows and doors is essential.
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