Based on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem, the Princess Basma Centre works to empower children with disabilities and facilitate their integration into Palestinian society. They offer rehabilitative and therapeutic services to hundreds of children each year, and they provide an inclusive education to hundreds more. They work with parents, families, communities and policy makers, in order to educate people on the rights of children with disabilities and to create a society in which children with disabilities can flourish.
Emergency appeal 2020
As the spread of COVID-19 ordered the world to stop, the Princess Basma Centre were determined not to let this get in the way of their work.
As the centre closed their doors in March 2020, their team of amazing healthcare professionals and volunteers worked tirelessly to find a way to continue to deliver treatment. Within a week the team had developed a virtual care model and was able to continue to support the children and their families.
However, with lack of funding and a new normal starting to take shape, the centre is now more than ever in desperate need of financial support to ensure their care reaches the most vulnerable children throughout this isolating time.
HEALTHCARE AND REHABILITATION
The Basma Centre is founded on its medical and rehabilitative expertise. As one of three 'National Resource Centres' in the occupied Palestinian territories, they provide a crucial service for children with disabilities and their families throughout East Jerusalem and the West Bank. This work is informed by a holistic view of disabilty, which considers both the impairment of the individual, and the social barriers that restrict the individual's life choices.
The Basma Centre is at the forefront of integrated education in Palestine. Its inclusive school - which opened in 1987 - enrols children between 4 and 18 years old, and with a range of abilities. Many of the teaching staff also have a disability. In a society where a third of children with disabilities are not enrolled in school, and fewer still are educated alongside children without disabilities, this school plays a key role in working to normalise disability in Palestinian society.
Collaboration is central to the Basma Centre's work. Staff regularly visit communities to conduct training sessions, in order to equip parents and health workers to play a leading role in the rehabilitation and social integration of children with disabilities. This approach - of training non-professionals - enables the centre not only to reach more children, but also to promote an understanding of disability rights among families and communities. In the West Bank, where the Israeli occupation imposes a network of roadblocks and checkpoints, a community-based approach also reduces the need for families to seek the support they need.