The Children’s Home

Hogar Nino de Dis is a foster home for children with disabilities, who have been abandoned or are in need, managed by the religious nuns of the Famiglia del Verbo Incarnato.

Currently, the religious nuns are 6, and they host 21 children with mental and physical impediments who don’t have anywhere to go otherwise. Besides the permanent residents, other disabled children participate daily in the afternoon activities.

The children come from the nearby areas of Bethlehem, Ramallah, Jenin and Hebron, and were sent by other centers that are unable to host them due to overcrowding. Otherwise, they are sent by their families or even by schools that are unable to pay for specialized educators

Why this situation?

In Arab society, having disabled children is sometimes considered as a sign of divine punishment towards the family. Accepting the presence of a disabled family member entails an important social limit. For this reason, children with disabilities are often isolated and confined within the house walls, hidden from others, and rendered invisible.

In a context already characterized by perpetual endemic violence and tensions, like the Palestinian one, the disabled children affected by malformations are often abandoned by their families who see their condition as a dishonor. The mothers do not know how to deal with this situation due to the lack of a culture of assistance towards the most vulnerable. In fact, many families do not know how to cater to the needs of a disabled family member, or do not believe that their condition can be improved, therefore limiting their assistance to daily feeding and merely keeping the person alive.

As a result of the economic challenges faced by families, or their physical and emotional incapability to offer a true family nest, the disabled children are often abandoned or find themselves to be severely marginalized. For this reason, the foster home attributes great attention to the learning and emotional needs the child: all resident children attend activities in various specialized schools that allow them not only to improve, but also to establish a normal routine like all other children. Those who for various reasons cannot attend school, are assisted by specialized educators.

The foster home “Hogar Nino de Dios” aims to maintain and nourish the relationship of each child with his/her family of origin, promoting the reintegration of the child within his/her family and society. To do this, the home implements activities jointly with the families, aimed to educate the family members on how to cater to the specific needs of their disabled family member – on condition that they manifest a true interest in the child and treat him with dignity. If the reintegration within the family is not possible, the foster home then becomes the permanent residential reference of the person.

The therapy for the children comprises of different weekly interventions of physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, and music therapy. For every child, a specific and adapted approach is developed in terms of nutrition, clothing, and hygiene, that are defined with professional specialists ( nutrionist, pediatrician, dentis, and physiotherapy