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Synod 2023

Rehabilitating children at the Princess Basma Centre in Jerusalem

A young boy and his speech therapist at the Princess Basma Centre.
Omar, who began coming to the Centre when he was four, has made great strides dealing with Cerebral Palsy. He and his speech therapist Tamara show their strength. Photo: Courtesy of the Princess Basma Centre.
JulieAnn Sewell
JulieAnn Sewell spoke movingly of the work of the Princess Basma Center in Jerusalem providing rehabilitative care for children. Photo: The Ven. Chris Dunn

JulieAnn Sewell offered those at Synod a view of the important work done at the Princess Basma Centre in Jerusalem (JPBC), which is one of the health ministries, operated by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. It specializes in treatment and rehabilitation for children with disabilities from the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem.

The Centre also operates an inclusive school that serves children with disabilities from kindergarten to Grade 12.

In a video, Sewell, who works in the fundraising department of the Centre, introduced those attending Synod to a couple of the inspiring children who have been overcoming their physical challenges with help from the staff and programs at the hospital and who are also breaking down myths and the stigma that people with disabilities continue to face. Empowered by the programs at the Centre, Mira, challenged rules that kept her out of her local school because of her physical disability is now a bright student in the fifth grade at the school.

Rehabilitative treatments often involve three week stays at the Centre and training for parents to continue the treatments at home with follow-up virtual appointments. Sewell noted that it is often difficult for patients from the West Bank and Gaza to get to the Centre in Jerusalem, and before the war began, they were working on opening a clinic in Gaza.

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