Bethlehem ~ Palestinian Areas
Since its establishment in 1993, the Foundation has worked towards the development of culture and education in Palestine and the Arab World. With a particular focus on children, teachers and young artists, it works through three main programmes: The Qattan Centre for Educational Research and Development (QCERD) aims to participate in raising the standards of education and teaching in Palestine. It engages directly with schoolteachers to develop their skills and knowledge and reflect on their profession to improve learning conditions for their pupils. QCERD runs a multi disciplinary teacher professional development programme, library services, research and publications, curriculum review, educational resources development, supporting teachers’ initiatives and forums, and the provision of higher studies scholarships to teachers. A regional pioneer in the use of drama in education, QCERD launched in 2011 an ambitious programme focused on science education in Palestine through the professional development of teachers, the creation of model science laboratories at schools, research, extra-curricular activities and scientific literacy. A comprehensive study on the establishment of an interactive science museum will be one of its main outputs. The Qattan Centre for the Child (QCC) in Gaza City contains over 110,000 books and other media and offers a variety of library, information, cultural and recreational services, making it one of the largest and most sophisticated children’s libraries in the Arab World. Established to compensate for the lack of opportunities and incentives open to children at school and elsewhere, it aims to nurture their curiosity, expand their knowledge and facilitate their access to outside cultures. Through its Outreach Services Programme (OSP), QCC provides library, cultural and recreational services to thousands of children in underprivileged areas in the Gaza Strip. The programme is designed based on QCC’s ten-years of experience working with children in Gaza, and the assessed needs of traumatized and deprived children. During the 2010/2011 operational year, QCC reached more than 65,000 children. The Culture and Arts Programme (CAP) supports talented people, particularly the young, in performing arts, visual arts, literature and the audio-visual field, offering them incentives to develop their skills and explore new horizons. It also promotes cultural collaboration between Palestine, the Arab region and the rest of the world. Four major projects embody the spirit of this work: a funding and awards programme in the performing arts, visual arts and literature; the Audio-visual Unit, which works in film and television training and production support, DVD publishing and distribution, school film education and film subtitling; the Gaza Music School Project, launched in July 2008, which is the first-ever structured and long-term music education programme in Gaza; and The Mosaic Rooms which runs a regular programme of exhibitions, lectures and workshops from and about the Arab World in London.