The Hope Flowers Community Center works to strengthen the local community with professional training and activities that focus on ’empowerment’.
The key concept is ‘post-conflict recovery’. The Center is here for the needs of people living under the pressures of occupation by another country.
The Center builds on the extensive experience of Hope Flowers School, that teaches peace and human rights and democracy, and provides education to children with special needs and learning disabilities as a consequence of trauma, poverty, malnutrition and a general lack of perspective.
The Community Center trains professionals in the social sector and education, underprivileged women, youths, refugees, and people who want to start a company or social initiative. And all of this with a clear focus on social and econonomic development, and repairing the damage that is caused by conflicts in the area.
The Community Center has an official recognition from the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education.
The Community Center is focused on:
- promoting a self-aware identity – take charge of your own future
- acquiring competencies that strengthen the community, and learning how to solve conflicts in daily life in a constructive manner
- learning about human rights and how these can be realised in daily life
- learning to cope with personal problems that come from living in difficult circumstances – by way of counseling and support groups
- providing education to increase economic development, in a country where military occupation makes life even more difficult
- promoting more equality and fairness in social, gender and racial aspectss
- promoting the values of cultural diversity
The approach is to help people develop into complete human beings, and not just to train them for some (technical) qualifications. The Community Centers stresses independent thinking, self development, and knowledge and skills that further the cause of society as a whole – while also continuously taking each individual situation and background into account.
Activities in cooperation with the school
The Community Center coordinates a.o. the following activities with the school:
- community building around the – e.g. monthly meetings with/for parents
- volunteer work in the neighbourhood and for the school – e.g. gardening the trees and shrubbery around the school, simple maintenance work of the building
- child protection programme – psycho-social support for children, also for kids from the neighbourhood that do not attend the school, so as to show parents that the school is there for the whole community; this also includes the provision of warm meals via the school for children with malnutrition
- cooperation through sports – playing at sports together is a first step towards teaching children to cooperate peacefully and democratically
- information sessions – as a part of the social work in the neighbourhood, there are e.g. workshops for (conservative) mothers to teach them about the health risks of marrying off their daughters at a young age
- trainings – for teachers at the school, e.g. the “trauma handling” programme