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Gaza School for the Blind

Photographer: Ali Ali

 

The Al-Nour Rehabilitation Centre for the Visually Impaired was the first and only school established by the United Nations in Gaza strip to work with children from five to 16 who are suffering from partial or total blindness.

 

It was set up by the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East). UNRWA has provided basic education to Palestinian refugee children since 1950. The Al-Nour center was extensively rebuilt in 1996 using a grant from the Government of Japan. Blind and visually impaired girls and boys receive orientation and mobility training. Palestinian teachers give classes in reading, writing, social exercises, sport, and learning to play musical instruments. In November 2001, the school received the Sharjah Award for Excellence for its innovative treatment of children with special needs.

 

In total there are currently 149 students at the school; of them, 89 are blind and 60 are visually impaired. Visually impaired children receive glasses and other optical devices. A Braille printing press is also in operation at the center.