BACKGROUND

Vision

Enlighten blind and visually impaired Palestinians.

Mission

The programs and activities run by the society are designed to improve the quality of life of blind and visually impaired Palestinians and facilitate their integration into the local community by promoting and enhancing their cultural, educational, social and economic standards.

Historical Background

The National Society for the Visually Handicapped was founded in 1962 in Jerusalem as a Palestinian non-governmental organization. The society was approved and registered by the Jordanian Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour on September 30th, 1964 under registration number 265 and amended on July 8th, 1965 to number J.71.

According to the Palestinian Law of Charitable Societies and Non Governmental Organizations, the society was registered with the Palestinian Ministry of Interior on May 3rd, 2004 under the reference number of BL-391-C.

The main objective of the society was first to produce books in Arabic and English Braille, thereby establishing the first library of Arabic Braille books in the entire Middle East. As a result of the 1967 war, offering these services to other Arab countries became impossible. However, the unit for Braille book production and library gradually expanded.

In 1981, Al-Shurooq School for Blind Children was established as the educational facility of the society, with the aim of providing the blind and visually impaired with the appropriate education and equal opportunity.

After nine years of operation, it became apparent that a prolonged stay at the school estranged the children from their home environment and pulled them back towards being dependant with lower self-esteem and poor social skills. Therefore, in 1990 the society changed its policy from the institutionalization of blind children to rehabilitation and integration into the local community.

In 1995, Al-Shurooq School moved from Jerusalem to Beit Jala, allowing beneficiaries from the southern part of the West Bank, unable to enter Jerusalem, to gain access to the Society’s services and programs.

Al-Shurooq School for Blind Children is acknowledged by the Palestinian Ministry of Education. The Ministry supervises the work done at the school regularly.

 

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