Lifegate in April 2021

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14. May 2021

Burk­hard Schunkert’s month­ly report from Beit Jala for April is here – here are some excerp­ts from the report which is atta­ched in full below:

In Beit Jala (almost) ever­ything very well

Only two employees had to adhe­re to a quaran­ti­ne peri­od becau­se they had come toge­ther with peop­le infec­ted with coro­na. Thanks to the Lutheran Arab Church in Jeru­sa­lem, our team is on a vacci­na­ti­on list and we are wait­ing pati­ent­ly until this vacci­na­ti­on is imple­men­ted. Indi­vi­du­al employees have alrea­dy been vacci­na­ted and we are now looking with great exci­te­ment at the new infec­tion rates in the Pales­ti­ni­an terri­to­ries over the next few weeks. On the two Easter feasts and in the fasting month of Rama­dan, peop­le neit­her adhe­red to the mask requi­re­ment, nor did they avoid gathe­rings of many peop­le in a confi­ned space. In the worst case scen­a­rio, we will have a new wave of newly infec­ted peop­le. In the best case scen­a­rio, many peop­le can be vacci­na­ted or the virus weakens and no new vari­ants spread and we are also retur­ning to norma­li­ty here in the Pales­ti­ni­an Terri­to­ry, which has alrea­dy beco­me a reali­ty in Isra­el. At Lifegate we do ever­ything we can to protect our child­ren, young peop­le and the team as good as we can!

For examp­le, in a GIZ program for coro­na preven­ti­on, we were given new taps and care mate­ri­als. The faucets work with a sensor, so you don’t have to touch anything and the many dispen­sers that have been hung up in the house with disin­fec­tants can now be refil­led again and again. A great help in these times when we have to spend signi­fi­cant­ly more finan­cial resour­ces on hygiene.

Carpet flying (runway)

Lessons in this sport, which is widespread here in the Orient, have just star­ted at Lifegate. With the help of our Swiss / Pales­ti­ni­an psycho­mo­tor team, the first child­ren get their expe­ri­ence, feel the carpet and their body. Admit­ted­ly, the „take off” has not yet real­ly succee­ded, but the landing and ground conta­ct, as you can see, are very pronoun­ced. A lot of fun with the weekly program and also a good lear­ning expe­ri­en­ces for our team.

As is well known, the runway needs some space, which is why we are so happy that the only remai­ning neigh­bo­ring proper­ty is being offe­red to us for sale. “Airports” are not only expen­si­ve in Berlin, even here you must pay a high price. Of cour­se, we are still nego­tia­ting (after all, we are in the Orient), about a price reduc­tion and a lot of tea and coffee has to be inves­ted. Nevertheless, we are very happy that more than 100 squa­re meters (out of 1300) have alrea­dy been bought and dona­ted and we keep pray­ing and sprea­ding the messa­ge. On a small „map” on our website you can follow the land purcha­se campai­gn very well and enjoy yourself! Thank you very much to ever­yo­ne who has alrea­dy helped.

Thera­py and medicine

Leylasan is doing well on the way to lear­ning to walk after her ortho­pe­dic surge­ry. Some­ti­mes she grimaces and does not like to leave the comfor­ta­ble wheel­chair, but that should chan­ge soon. The wheel­chair should only be used in emer­gen­ci­es (if things have to go very quick­ly), other­wi­se Leylasan should walk like many other child­ren her age.

Janna and Jury, the other two twins in the special kinder­gar­ten who had been opera­ted, are also making good progress in their mobi­li­ty. Even after many years of posi­ti­ve expe­ri­ence, it is always like a small mira­cle for us when child­ren who were craw­ling on the floor are first given a wheel­chair at Lifegate so that they can come at seat height with other seated child­ren and beco­me mobile. 

Then, after ortho­pe­dic surge­ry, they can stand and then even learn to walk. With the physi­cal erec­tion, the psyche of the child and the hope of the parents are also raised. We are very grate­ful that we were again able to make this possi­ble for several child­ren. Two child­ren and a teen­ager were presen­ted to the ortho­pe­dic surge­ons at the Israe­li Alyn and Shaa­rei Zedek hospi­tal, inso­les and ortho­tics were recom­men­ded, but no further opera­ti­ons for the time being.

This month of Rama­dan, the good early inter­ven­ti­on work in our kinder­gar­ten was under­li­ned by a Muslim mother who wrote the following sentence on Face­book: „The best Chris­ti­an I know, who is close to me, is my son Jad’s (Down syndro­me) special school teacher at Lifegate.” You do not often get offi­cial reco­gni­ti­on in the media from Muslim parents and we were very happy.

Special thanks go to the twin town of Beit Jala Bergisch Glad­bach, as well as the town twin­ning asso­cia­ti­ons Bergisch Glad­bach – Beit Jala, as well as Ganei Tikva, who helped us with a fund­rai­sing campai­gn to acqui­re new necessa­ry thera­py equip­ment. The Bethe Foun­da­ti­on in Bergisch Glad­bach doubled these dona­ti­ons and so we will soon be able to use thera­py equip­ment and lear­ning toys for working with disab­led children.

Trai­ning and production

Thanks to the support of some friends in Switz­er­land, Cana­da and on site, we were able to acqui­re some new machi­nes that were urgent­ly needed for the olive wood work­shop and for the carpen­try. Since we now also produ­ce most of the larger olive wood items in our work­shop, these acqui­si­ti­ons were necessa­ry. Employees in the protec­ti­ve work­shop are alrea­dy working on these machi­nes and very beau­ti­ful motifs are crea­ted. All of the raw olive wood for the Christ­mas season 2021/22 was neat­ly set up by us and stored to dry at our supplier, who kind­ly helped us with the storage room free of char­ge. The wood is picked up here in autumn for processing.

Full report

Read the full report here.

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