World Vision Jerusalem - West Bank - Gaza (JWG) celebrated the launch of a set of development programs, which will last for 10 to 12 years, in Jericho and the Jordan Valley area, targeting nine communities in the Jordan Valley with a population of about 24,000 people.
During the ceremony, World Vision presented an overview of the programs it will implement in these areas, which include the Mother and Child Health and Early Childhood Development Program, the Child Protection Program, the Learning Roots and Education in Emergencies Program, in addition to the Child Resilience Program and Youth IMPACT+ Clubs.
Participated in the celebration were the Palestinian Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Riyad Atari, representing the Prime Minister, Dr. Muhammad Ishtayyeh, Ms. Lauren Taylor, the National Director of the World Vision in JWG, and Ms. Yousra Sweiti, representing the Governor of Jericho and the Jordan Valley, in addition to several representatives from multiple institutions, local and international councils and municipalities, the Palestinian Civil Defense, and the Ministries of Education and Social Development.
"The existence of such programs is very important, especially since the Jordan Valley is considered one of the marginalized areas in the West Bank that faces many problems," said Mr. Atari. "These programs contribute to achieving the development plan launched by the government in Jericho a short time ago, which stresses the importance of adopting and cooperating with the relevant ministries to facilitate the implementation of the programs offered the World Vision, in line with national strategies." The Minister of Agriculture continued to thank World Vision for choosing the Jordan Valley region, as the region suffers from lacking essential services provided to children, whether education, health or protection services, which is caused by the weather conditions in the region; the classification of land; the lack of job opportunities; and the fragility of the economic situation, which prevents children from obtaining their full rights and freedoms.
"I stand before you today to ask you, on behalf of the children of the Palestinian villages of the Jordan Valley, to consider the many needs our villages lack and what we children in these villages lack," said Haneen Qarmash, one of the students participating in World Vision programs. "Look at the children of cities and the services they receive there. Is it not our right to enjoy such services, centers and clubs? Is it not our right to find a place for recreation and psychological release? Is it not the right of our mothers to take their children to places away from the pressure of work, home chores, and life issues? Is it not the right of children with disabilities in my village - and their number is not insignificant - to find a center that takes care of them and their physical and psychological health and their educational needs? We suffer from extreme heat in the summer and extreme cold in the winter, muddy roads and the lack of transportation to go to school. Our schools lack the means necessary to prepare classrooms to withstand the weather".
"World Vision has made a promise to reach the most vulnerable children," said Taylor. "Although World Vision is an international organization, it strives to work close with local communities to identify and address the causes of marginalization. Our main goal, as an organization, for the next ten years, is the well-being of children and to encourage cooperation with other organizations, provide a supportive and protective environment for children, to ensure they live life in all its fullness, know the love of the other, and experience hope and joy."