Friends World Committee for Consultation - Europe & Middle East Section

The Am’ari Play Centre in Ramallah

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The Am’ari Play Centre provides pre-school education to up to 45 5-year old children who live in Al Am’ari refugee camp.

Just outside Ramallah, in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, the refugee camp of Al Am’ari is home to some 10,520 registered refugees, people who lost their homes during the 1948/49 war which established the State of Israel, and/or where further displaced in 1967. No longer made up of tents, the camp is a collection of poorly built, high density buildings, with poor sanitation and infrastructure. The camp is run by UNRWA, the United Nations Refugees and Works Agency, which provides the room where the Centre is located, in a Girls’ elementary school.

EMES has been holding this project tenderly since it was started in 1974, and runs it in partnership with Friends United Meeting and local Quakers.

1,513 families receive emergency food rations, and 252 families receive assistance under the ‘Social Safety Net’ programme. The Camp Services Officer (CSO) believes that approximately half of the men in Al Amari Camp are out of work, The average salary is between $320 and $450 an month to support a family. The cost of living in the West Bank has increased significantly in recent years; in 2008 a loaf of bread costs $1.80 and a half gallon of milk costs $3.40.

There are other Pre-schools in the West Bank. They charge between $150 and $500 a year for each child. The Am’ari Play Centre, which aims to reach marginalised communities, charges $26 a year, and waivers this cost for Special Hardship Cases.

All the children in the Play Centre are Muslim, as are their teachers – three local women, who also come from the camp, and one still lives there.

The Play Centre provides pre-school education by providing Arabic and English alphabets learning, basic mathematics, basic concepts, social interactions with other children, with teachers and with the environment and in addition to have some time to play.

The Play Centre needs on-going financial support to continue to provide this much valued service. Contributions should be made as follows:

Read the report of a visit by Friends in March 2010
By international transfer to:
CAF Bank Ltd. 25 Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4JQ, UK
IBAN: GB48 MIDL 4005 3072 1385 49
Account Name: FWCC-EMES Amari Play centre
Account Number: 00091841
Sort Code: 40-52-40

Alternatively, you can pay on line through our Donations page indicating that the donation is for Am’ari Play Centre.

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