The Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre hosted the Most Reverend, The Right Honorable Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby along with his wife Mrs. Caroline Welby, accompanied by the Most Reverend Archbishop of Jerusalem and the Middle East and the Chairman of the Centre, Suheil Dawani, including his wife Mrs. Shafiqa Dawani together with a group of clergymen and eminent personalities.
Mr. Ibrahim Faltas, General Director of the Centre welcomed his grace and presented the most important historical milestones that paved the way for the centre to become a unique service provider. It also highlighted the continuous work of serving and providing healthcare rehabilitation services to children with disabilities for over 50 years in Palestine. For instance, in 2016, the Jerusalem Princess Basma centre received more than 2117 beneficiaries who benefitted from its services.
Presided by Mr. Faltas, his grace toured the centre, paying a visit to the comprehensive rehabilitation unit, which provides treatment for more than 750 of children with disabilities coming from West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem. The delegation also visited Princess Basma Inclusive School, along with the inclusive kindergartens and the special autism classes. The school embraces around 500 pupils, 30% of which are children with disabilities. The tour concluded a stop by the sheltered workshop, which includes 24 persons with disabilities, who have received the needed vocational training for their potentials, thus empowering them to be active members, and exposing them to different opportunities to achieve their hopes in society.
A cordial gathering brought together Mrs. Welby, Mrs. Dawani along with the mothers of children with disabilities, who accompany their children throughout their comprehensive treatment period, which might extend to three weeks per admission.
Mothers talked about the challenges they face with their children with disabilities, and the tangible improvement and progress of their children after receiving direct therapy sessions. The mothers praised the vision and approach of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre which includes empowering mothers and involving them in the rehabilitation period through the home training. Indeed, mothers start applying the exercises they have learnt with their children once they return back home.
Mrs. Welby praised the unique work of such a pioneering centre, which offers distinguished therapeutic rehabilitation services.”It is a privilege to be able to visit and see the inspiring work of the centre. It has been very powerful to sit with the mothers involved in the empowerment program to hear their stories and the challenges they face for their children and themselves.”
Mrs Welby acknowledged the centre’s Outreach Program which serves the most vulnerable children with disabilities in rural areas of Jerusalem and marginalized villages in the Palestinian society.