As the Palestinian family is living a daily struggle under the Israeli occupation, The Swiss Association, Makan Tawassul, has opened a branch in Bethlehem to provide children with a playing space where they are accompanied with their parents too, to strengthen their bondage.The center implements the “homely neighborhood” idea in Swiss cities, focuses on creating play area for children and their parents, for them to spend time together, away from the stress.
According to PNN, it has been in operation for two years, now, while creating mutual respect and high ethics through teaching children kindness and honesty, in addition to letting them express themselves freely.
Stephanie Pudaz, one of the founders of the center, said that the current circumstance created the need for this idea, especially in light of the checkpoints delays and economic hardships for families, which widen the gap between the parents and their kids.
“We decided to open this center because we feel that the link between the parents and children are affected by the current political situation, and because there are not many outdoor places where the children can go play and meet with other children and spend time with their mates.”
The same goes for the parents of children, as it provides a place for them to meet together and communicate, and share experiences that they might have had with their kids.
Lamia Al-Madbouh, one of the workers in the center, said that the children’s personalities were responding to the activities, since it gives them freedom to express themselves without any borders.
“We give children freedom that they cannot find anywhere else. Most places have restrictions where children cannot do what they want. Here, they have all the options.”
The parents in Bethlehem welcomed the idea, since it gives them some time away with their kids, and especially because it helps them explore their potential and their fields of interest.
Nuha Daraghmeh, one of the parents who was at the center, said that it is a chance for parents to take a break from their home chores and make time to see thier children interacting with their environment.
The results have been evident with children who became more outspoken and confident. The center hopes to still grow and function in the future, to do the least to overcome the challenges of living under an occupation that is targeting the happiness of children, too.