Thursday, 4 February 2016

School Bus for Jordan Valley Children

In March 2014, I visited the community at Al Samra and saw the school under construction. I heard what it meant to that community to have somewhere they could educate their children. And today I read that the school was demolished in August 2015. So, so sad. We will be visiting Jordan Valley Solidarity during our pilgrimage and hope to hear the latest news.

In August Israeli Occupation Forces demolished Al Samra school (along with its classroom materials) in the north of the Jordan Valley. The school was built in 2013/14 by Jordan Valley Solidarity (JVS), local Palestinians and international volunteers to provide the children of Khirbeit Samra and the surrounding villages in the Beqaa area with a space for children to practise their right to education.
Now that the school has been demolished, children from the villages have to travel to Tubas, 25km away, to attend school. Thanks to support from friends in France and the French Solidarity for Free Palestine, since August 13th, JVS now have a bus that collects children from these northern communities and takes them to school five days a week in Tubas.
The bus driver is from Tammoun, near Tubas. He drives the bus five days a week, leaving Tammoun to collect the children in Al Hadidiya, Hamza and the surrounding communities in northern Jordan Valley and taking them to school in Tubas, and later dropping them off at home after school. The driver is therefore making a 110km round trip five days a week.
The monthly cost of fuel for the bus is 2000 shekels and the driver’s salary is another 2000 shekels per month. JVS currently have no funding to cover these costs: since August 13th JVS volunteers have been covering these costs themselves, which has become increasingly difficult given the need for funds to cover the JVS van, which transports building materials, and Mahmoud’s legal case, a JVS volunteer who was illegally arrested by the Israeli army in September and is being charged under false allegations.

JVS is now asking for support to cover these monthly expenses of 4000 shekels for at least the next 5 months, so as to see the children through the school year.

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