Introducing Hope Flowers - Hope Flowers School

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Introducing Hope Flowers

About
Hope Flowers works in peace-building, trauma recovery, democracy, strengthening society and the furthering of human rights.

It serves refugee and disadvantaged children in Palestine, and those traumatised by conflict or experiencing learning difficulties related to the conflict.

Life in Palestine is challenging and, even today, Hope Flowers School and its staff and children are not safe and secure.

A combination of good principles, high educational standards, dedicated staff and parents, the pressure of need and innovative methods have made Hope Flowers a leader in its field.

None of our students or former students has been engaged with the ongoing violence in Palestine – we intend for this to continue.
Our unique approach

The school is committed to providing the following:
  • a sound education in both mandatory and extracurricular subjects;
  • psychological and emotional support for students, their families and the local community;
  • self-esteem, dignity, appreciation and belief in positive cultural values - core Hope Flowers ethics;
  • education in positive relationship-building, allowing students to utilise such skills in the wider community;
  • peace, democracy and non-violence;
  • direct communication with students from other faiths, cultures and nations.

This approach brings together parents, teachers, staff, volunteers, educationalists and financial contributors, both in Palestine and internationally.

Peace and democracy education is integrated into the school's activities and curriculum. Classes study peace-related topics appropriate to students' age and level, and extracurricular activities are geared this way too. It pervades our educational approach.


An independent school

The school is independently run. We have no political or religious affiliation. Christian, Muslim and secular children attend the school. We are not permitted to welcome Jews under current circumstances.

This independence has allowed us to innovate and directly to answer the needs of students and the community, without the complicating agendas of government or religious education departments.

The teaching of peace-building behaviour and methods continues, together with education in the appreciation of different cultures and faiths, and the understanding of people with contrasting and conflicting views. Visiting internationals help with this.

Our autonomy has allowed us to take a leading role in Palestinian education. The school's outreach programs over the years have offered adult education in community and democratic development, peace and dealing with trauma, women's empowerment, and other subjects. 

The outreach programs have now expanded into a separate Hope Flowers Centre for Education and Community Development.
Funding and support

Independence means responsibility for supporting the school ourselves. Operating under the auspices of religious, political or governmental organisations, even if financially beneficial, would remove our neutrality and innovation.

We rely on a variety of funding sources - individuals, groups, trusts, government and non-governmental organisations worldwide. We manage, but it is never really enough.

Parents pay school fees (US$250 per year plus $300 in other expenses), though this income source is inconsistent and low, due to economic problems arising from the Israeli occupation.

Most children are from refugee camps where jobs are few. Our scholarship fund helps poor children and we welcome financial contributions to it.

Contributions made by supporters and friends have been vital in allowing the school to continue operating. We receive support from people of many faiths, nationalities and cultures who see our efforts as a key part of developing peace and justice worldwide.

People from Holland, UK, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Norway, USA and Australia have visited and worked as volunteers, offering a wide range of skills and opportunities for the students.

The school has a mini-farm for educating students in agriculture and market gardening, as well as to provide income for the school through sale of produce. Our computer centre is an IT learning environment, a community education and internet resource.

Through the Hope Flowers Centre we share our experience with other schools and educationalists in Palestine.
 
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