ICEJ Enables Druze Teachers To Continue Nurturing Dreams

By Laurina Driesse

Zooms and online teaching are par-for-the-course these days, but how can a teacher educate online without the proper tools?

Recently, the ICEJ responded to a request to supply teaching equipment to a Druze school in the Israeli town of Usifiya, situated near Haifa in northern Israel. This town was inhabited by the Druze in the early 18th century and today is still 77% Druze.

Answering a need for a traditional religious school in this Druze community, a special school in Usifiya opened seven years ago with 105 students. Today it has expanded to its maximum capacity of 400 students, and boys and girls learn in separate classes. The students are extremely dedicated and eager to achieve. This is evident in the fact that they accomplished some of the highest marks in their matriculation examinations in the country, making their teachers very proud!

Showing motherly love towards her students, school principal Nuwal focuses strongly on building good relationships with the students and tries to instill good values. She teaches them to appreciate those who are different from themselves and encourages them to give back to their community and country. Speaking from the heart, Nuwal shared her desire to prepare her young students – particularly the girls – to continue their studies and successfully complete academic degrees in professions of their interest, like medicine, business and high tech.

Despite the academic successes enjoyed by the school, it was evident to the ICEJ AID team on a recent visit that the school could use some extra assistance to upgrade the learning environment. Over the past year, as Israelis faced extended coronavirus lockdown periods, the teachers at this school found themselves in an extremely challenging situation. Online classes were expected, but a lack of proper equipment prevented them from teaching effectively online. When the ICEJ received their urgent plea for assistance, without hesitation we stepped in to meet the need.

“Thanks to our wonderful British friends, the ICEJ-UK branch gave an incredible gift which enabled us to supply seven sets of projectors, screens, speakers and five laptop computers for the teachers to use in the classrooms,” remarked Nicole Yoder, ICEJ Vice President for AID and Aliyah.

The AID team also had the opportunity to meet two of the students, who thanked the ICEJ for helping them continue their studies even in these difficult times of corona.

“We could see that the students love their school and were happy to be remembered and assisted by Christians from around the world who don’t know them personally, but opened their hearts to help them, nonetheless”, said Nicole. “Naturally, this donation came as a great reinforcement of the valuable lessons of ‘giving and accepting others’ that no doubt will be utilized by the teachers in the future!”

The principal Nuwal and her faculty of teachers warmly welcomed the ICEJ with incomparable Druze hospitality when the AID team came to dedicate the educational tools. “We are so thankful for the investment that you have made in our students”, enthused Nuwal.

While nurturing the students’ dreams, Nuwal has a big dream of her own; she hopes that one day they will be able to move to a bigger and newer school so they can accept some 300 additional students who they currently are unable to accommodate.

Through your faithful giving, the ICEJ can continue to support and lift all sectors of Israeli society. Ahead of the new school year, the ICEJ also will provide academic sponsorships to Druze students, so that their hopes and dreams currently being nurtured and instilled by teachers like Nuwal and her team can be fulfilled.

Thank you for making an impact in the lives of these Israeli Druze students. Please continue to support the work of the ICEJ.