Tuesday, August 19

MCC Partner Profile - Lajee Children's Center

Lajee Children's Center is one of MCC's partners here in Israel/Palestine. They run after school programs for children, and work mainly with children from Aida refugee camp. Here, Palestinians are considered refugees if any of their ancestors left their homes during the war of 1948. Generally, those who fled their homes were not allowed to return. It's not uncommon to meet a child who will tell you he's from Jaffa or Lod, even though he himself may have never even seen the city.

Lajee provides under-privileged children with a small library, a place to learn about and use computers, and a summer camp which provides them with new experiences and gets them out of the crowded conditions of the refugee camp. As part of their summer camps, Lajee brings international volunteers to work with the children. One such volunteer, a young Jewish woman from America, was the first Jewish person that many of the children have encountered that wasn't wearing a uniform of the Israeli military. The story is related in the video. It's encounters such as this, building bridges and breaking down walls among those that are different, that encourage MCC's work with partners such as Lajee.

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