Lajee Center would like to thank all donors, partners, volunteers and friends of Lajee Center. Without your support Lajee Center wouldn’t be able to continue serving the community and doing all these activities.
Rebel Circus School – Spain Trip
The children of Rebel Circus School went to the city of Cadiz with the Lajee Center’s partners from “Pallasos en Rebeldia” and “La Nave del Espacio.” In Cadiz, circus students joined a weeklong camp with La Nave Del Espacio circus school, where they practiced flying trapeze and aerial skills, went horseback riding, and took a trip to the Mediterranean Sea for swimming and surfing. To end their time, a closing ceremony was held on July 11 in Rivas-Vaciamadrid where children were able to show the story of the realities of life for children in Palestine with the help of their coaches and the coaches from Pallasos en Rebeldia.
Arafat Summer Camp
The Lajee Center hosted the 5th annual Yasser Arafat Summer Camp that aims to introduce the children and youth to the Palestinian leaders. During this summer camp, the center worked with 60 children between the ages of 12-16 years old for two weeks. The children learned about the varied struggles of Palestinians within different occupied territories and the diaspora to understand their shared cause with the camp, and they were able to express and learn more about theatre, art and Dabka. Moreover, the children visited the Yasser Arafat Museum in Ramallah to learn about Arafat’s life and achievements and to understand more about Palestinian history. At the closing ceremony for Yasser Arafat Summer Camp, the Yasser Arafat Foundation staff joined as children showcased what they learned about Palestinian history presented through theatre and musical performances, dabka, and a handicraft exhibition.
1for3 First Aid Community Workers Workshop
A lifesaving course was conducted by doctors affiliated with 1for3 for Community Health Workers with the Lajee Center. The primary objective of this course was to equip the team with essential lifesaving skills and emergency response techniques over three days. The program hosted a lecture by international volunteer Amaya on the perspective of international law for the protection of health workers. The same course was then given to youth, volunteers and participants from the Center by the health workers.
New Hydroponic Systems
In collaboration with 1for3, the Health and Environment Unit partnered with environmental engineer Laura to create a new thriving hydroponic system on the rooftop of the Lajee Center. Laura’s expertise in engineering and interior design has been instrumental in bringing this vision to life. She has also been sharing her knowledge through informative lectures for the dedicated health and environment workers, teaching them how to best cultivate, nurture, and harvest the plants. Lajee also launched a project to provide hydroponic systems in the homes of community members.
Environment Summer Camp
The Health and Environment Unit at the Lajee Center held the fourth annual Environmental Summer Camp for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old. Forty children participated in lectures about nutrition, the importance food plays in society, and traditional Palestinian food with Zahraa, a volunteer and nutrition specialist. Another volunteer, Laura, an environmental engineering specialist, taught the children about hydroponics. Participants also learned how to extract seeds from tomatoes and basil and how to grow them. On the second day participants went on a tour to Walaja village to learn about the ecological impacts of the nearby Gilo settlement and the current struggles residents face due to settler attacks. The next day, volunteers and participants went to Irtas to beautify the martyr’s cemetery and then finished the day at Ein al-Hawiya resort in Hassan for some swimming. On the final day, they worked on projects for the center’s rooftop, including recycling car tires to be used as agricultural tubes and painting the pipes for the hydroponic system.
Kindergarten Summer Camp
Zahrat Al-Yasmeen Kindergarten at the Lajee Center held a three-day summer camp for 50 children in the kindergarten. Children participated in fun art activities, learned dabke, and played fun games.
MCC Summer Camp
In collaboration with Mennonite Central Committee, Lajee Center held its 20th annual summer camp for 250 children from across the Bethlehem governorate, including Aida, Dheheisha, and Azzeh camps. The camp started on the 26 of July and lasted for two weeks. This year the camp was titled “Jenin Camp” as a symbol of resilience and resistance after the IOF raid on Jenin in July. Participants and volunteers travelled to Jenin to see the aftermath of the recent raid, and worked on a project to restore and beautify the martyrs’ cemetery.
During the first week of camp, participants took classes for art, theatre, circus, sport. Additionally, they heard lectures about the topics of prisoners with Sameer Al-Ameer and topics related to the Palestinian struggle as defining the camp and its symbol to the Palestinians. The group also participated in leisure activities and trips as part of the camp.
Two former students of the Lajee Center’s music program were chosen to participate in performances organized by the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music. They were among seventy talented individuals from across Palestine who were chosen to practice and perform with the orchestra. After the training, the orchestra played in Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Bethlehem. Today, both of these musicians continue to contribute as volunteers with Lajee’s music program.
Volunteers from Ireland and Wales worked with participants from Lajee for three weeks to teach them lessons in storytelling. This training focused on utilizing phones as a tool for voice recordings and documentary photography to show the reality of life in the camp. In addition to their multimedia training, the participants collectively composed a song and recorded the first episode for Radio Lajee focused on the Palestinian Nakba and the Ongoing Nakba.
Women’s Health Workshop
At the end of July, a workshop was held with the goal of improving access to fresh and healthy foods and fitness for women from Aida Camp and Azzeh Camp. Fifteen women participated in the workshop and 12 of them joined fitness training sessions with the gym.
At Lajee Center, children started learning boxing with the help of a Scottish volunteer named Martin. He taught two groups: one from eight to nine-year-olds and another from ten to eleven-year-olds, showing them the basics of boxing. After that, registration opened up for boxing lessons for youth aged 12-17.
The second generation of Lajee-Celtic began training once a week in July. Around 30 of the best players aged 11-15 years old were chosen to begin practicing as a team.