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ICEJ Druze projects teaching ‘acceptance’

ICEJ Aid supports educational initiatives

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Posted on: 
23 Mar 2012 (All day)
ICEJ Druze projects teaching ‘acceptance’

The ICEJ AID team recently paid a visit to several active projects being sponsored in the Druze sector in Israel. Today, there are about 100,000 Druze citizens in Israel, with thousands of them serving in the Israeli army. Though classified as Arabs, the Druze are a uniquely independent community while also making important contributions to the nation as a whole.

The Druze are very family oriented, and several generations usually live together in the same home. The men have a strong work ethic, and even many women are starting to enter the work place to provide a better future for their children.

ICEJ AID has assisted several Druze schools in the Galilee by purchasing computers, desks, headphones and books for their classrooms. The computers improve discipline and help children with short attention spans to keep up with their peers.

All Druze schools teach honour, ethics, social assistance and partnership. The children, who speak Arabic at home, learn Hebrew at an early age, and quickly move on to learn English as well.

Maghar is one of the towns where ICEJ AID has sponsored computers for the local school. The town has a Druze majority (57%), with the rest Arab Christians and Muslims. Most of the Druze residents serve in the IDF and Israeli police and recently a new neighbourhood was built for discharged soldiers.

“In taking care of the soldiers, we need to take care of what is important to them – their parents, families, their children. That’s the only way to raise another generation of loyal citizens”, the local school principal said.

Exchange programs are organised with schools in other cities to teach the children about their Jewish, Christian and Muslim neighbours.

“It means a lot to us that you Christians support us”, the principal added. “I did not choose to be Druze, but I am one. Same as a Jewish person has not chosen to be born Jewish. God placed us in communities and it is our responsibility to respect one another. The support we receive from Christians through ICEJ AID teaches our children what it means practically to accept others.”

ICEJ AID also reaches those in need in the town of Hurfeish, located over 2,200 feet high overlooking the border with Lebanon. The majority of residents are Druze, but the village also has a small number of Catholics (10%) and a few Muslims. Here, ICEJ AID partners with a school that has a special environmental project where children learn, for example, how to preserve water resources that are so important to this region. They also learn about their heritage and how their ancestors took care of the land.

Above the front door of the school flutters a beautiful large Israeli flag. The school is a second home to 370 students and 44 teachers, including a number of Christian teachers. ICEJ AID recently donated computers that are an essential for the students in their studies. School officials were especially appreciative of the support.

“We are touched that Christians around the world choose to support the education of the Druze”, assured the president of the parent’s council.

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