"Most parents wonder, 'Where do we go from here? What will happen when our child is an adult?' I tell them that thousands of parents with disabled children have shared in their journey. That they are not alone. That there is reason for hope. That we can help."
— George Rantisi, Supervisor of the Annahda Women's Association
The above quote is from a letter that I recently received about the transformative impact that Annahda Women's Association, a UPA partner, has on Palestinian lives. Annahda has helped hundreds of Palestinians with disabilities successfully make the transition to independence and adulthood over the last four decades. One of those successes is Georges.
When Georges was born in 1964, his family became aware that he had a speech disorder that prevented him from attending school. His mother heard from a neighbor that not far from their home was a special center for children like him, so she enrolled him.
Every day the center's bus picked Georges up from his house, took him to the center and back again at the end of the day. At Annahda, he received special education classes in language, math, sports, and life skills.
At the age of 14, Georges joined the pre-vocational class and learned how to sand, paint and build handicrafts. Later he joined a wooden toy workshop and became a salaried employee. Georges married in 2008 and one year later his wife gave birth to a son, whom they named after Georges's father, as is the custom for a first-born son.
The work that we do — including the grants we give to partners such as Annahda — depends on your financial support. If you have not already done so, please consider making a year-end tax-deductible contribution (http://www.helpupa.org/donate) to UPA. Thank you.
Saleem F. Zaru
P.S. If you donate $50 or more (http://www.helpupa.org/donate), you can choose to receive the 2012 UPA Calendar featuring twelve full-color photographs of UPA programs in action.