The Welfare Association, Bank of Palestine, the UNRWA and other partners inaugurate the opening of the 29th Bayyara at Oqbat Jaber refugee camp in Jericho
14 | 4 | 2018
As part of Al Bayyara Parks Project that aims to establish hundreds of entertainment parks for children in various areas across Palestine, the Welfare Association, Bank of Palestine, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the United Holy Land Fund, the Muna and Bassem Heshmeh Foundation, and investors Jawad Ibrahim, Hasan Ali And Zahira Dahdul inaugurated the opening of the 29th Bayyara Park inside Oqbat Jaber Palestinian refugee camp located at the entrance of Jericho.
The Bayyara at Obqbat Jaber refugee camp is the first of its kind to be opened inside a Palestinian refugee camp. It was an effort conducted in partnership with the Popular Committee Services for Oqbat Jaber refugee camp who donated the land, with contribution from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, with an aim to provide entertainment areas that are safe for the children within the camp. The said committee designated an appropriate area of approximately two dunums to establish the park.
Mrs. Dima Irshaid, the Director of Individual Funding at the Welfare Association, stated that Al Bayyara project falls within the framework of her organization’s strategy and goals for community development, especially the program for developing infrastructure to serve local communities, especially children. Irshaid thanked Bank of Palestine for its rather important contribution to community development, and also thanked the Muna and Bassem Heshmeh Foundation, the United Holy Land Fund, Mr. Jawad Ibrahim Hasan Ali and his family who provided their donation for the establishment of this park in the name of their late grandfather Haj Abdul Jawad Muhammed Salameh Sharmuj and mother Layla Abdul Jawad Sharmuj. She also stressed the important role played by the UNRWA and the camp's Popular Committee for their cooperation during the establishment of this bayyara.
Mr. Musa Shamieh, the Deputy Director of Corporate Management at Bank of Palestine, pointed out that the opening of the new park coincided with the Land's Day, which ensures our attachment to this land, the land of Palestine. He called upon the Popular Committee and all those in charge of supervising the park to work together to protect and develop it. Shamieh expressed his gratitude towards all those who contributed to the establishment of this park, pointing out that the bank began this initiative approximately five years ago, and all throughout, together with its partners, managed to establish a total of 29 parks within large cities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. He also pointed out that this project will contribute to a healthy and sound upbringing for Palestinian children, and will assist their mental, development and creative skills. Shamieh added that the bank designates about 5% of its annual profits to support developmental projects in various fields, and this project is considered among the most important ones that have a sustainable benefit for our children.
During his address, Mr. Jawad Ibrahim Ali stressed the importance of this project for the children of the camp and its continuous social impact on the families of the camp. He thanked the committee and the Welfare Association for giving him and his family the opportunity to contribute to Palestine. He added that choosing to establish the Bayyara in Oqbar Jaber refugee camp is of utter importance for his family.
Haj Muhammed Abu Rmeishan, the Executive Director of the United Holy Land Fund, stressed the importance of these parks and their role in maintaining the safety of children. He also stressed the importance of maintaining them by the local communities for which they were established. Rmeishan added that more parks will be established within various Palestinian governorates.
Ms. Lorian Lika, the Director of the Programs Support Unit at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, stressed the importance of this project, which is the first of its kind within the refugee camp. She added that such a project will be a venting space for camp residents, where they are able to spend time with their children in safe and secure areas away from the camp alleyways. Lika thanked the camp's committee and all donors and called upon them to implement such projects in other refugee camps in Palestine.
Mr. Yehya Al Akhras, the representative of the Popular Committee, welcomed the guests and pointed out that such a project was implemented to serve as a venting space for the camp residents and their children. Al Akhras expressed his gratitude towards the supporters and donors of Al Bayyara project.
It is important to note that this year marks the 35th anniversary for the establishment of the Welfare Association, which is a Swiss organization registered as a branch in Palestine. It was established in 1983, and implements its projects in Palestine and in the Diaspora refugee camp in Lebanon. The Association implements developmental and relief projects as part of its seven main programs: education, community development, youth empowerment, support of orphans, culture, renovation of historic cities and the Palestinian Museum.