Dome on the Rock

Thursday 27th March

The posts from 20-28 March 2014 were originally posts formatted for Tumblr. Click here to see the original blog.

The Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre for Disabled Children
This morning’s visit to The Mount of Olives began with a stop at the Princess Basma Centre for Children with Disabilities. This is a hospital run by the Diocese of Jerusalem seeing mainly out-patients from the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. The hospital helps children with a wide range of disabilities and their families learn to lead full lives.

  • Physical rehabilitation
  • inclusive education for children with disabilities
  • Empowerment of the children and parents
  • Raising awareness
  • Building capacity to act as a national resource
  • Capacity building and job creation for people with disabilities

It currently runs at a deficit with some voluntary funding and some from the Palestinian Authority (PA). The hospital used to receive money from the American Government but since American disagreement with the PA this has stopped.

If you want to know more visit their web site: www.basma-centre.org

You cannot help but be impressed at what this small diocese does running thirty five institutions, of which this is only one, making a material difference to the lives of Palestinians. In the UK we are used to the idea of running schools but we gave up running hospitals very quickly after the state took responsibility. The Diocese of Jerusalem seems to run on a knife edge. Governance of its institutions is a huge responsibility for senior members of the diocese and the risks are significant. Muslim colleagues said it was difficult to see the same sense of social responsibility turning into action among Islamic societies.

I wonder why that is? I wonder too why we would struggle to find an English diocese running a hospital and yet we have so many schools?

Published by

Tim Stratford

Ven Dr Tim Stratford Archdeacon of Leicester

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