Let’s light the torch of the Al-Anwar center in Haifa

Al-Anwar Center is a center that was established in Haifa 20 years ago, in order to give girls and young women who have dropped out of traditional educational frameworks and have reached the age of 13-18 years a second chance. The center supposed to provide these girls with specially tailored educational and practical therapeutic support in order to motivate them and enable them to return to the normal educational frameworks. If this is not possible, they can be given different skills and a school completion certificate.

The Al Anwar Center differs from other educational centers in the fact that it aims at re-integrating girls and young women into the traditional educational framework, rather than placing them in special-education frameworks that can be linked with stigma.

Instead of celebrating the achievements and progress of the center, the Haifa Municipality, which sponsors this center, announced in 2020 its intention to close the Al-Anwar Center.

The municipality based its decision on the pretext that not enough participants were registered into program. They decided to transfer the 6 Arab participants registered to another mixed center for Jewish boys and girls.

Since then, the SDC in Haifa has received many emails and phone calls from the parents of the Arab girls and young women with a request to intervene and prevent the closing of Al-Anwar Center, or to provide any proper alternative aimed at young Arab women.

The SDC, together with a group of social activists participatin in our educational program as part of our “Haifa – A Shared City” project, have intervened, calling on the municipality to reverse their  decision to close the Al-Anwar Center. These efforts resulted in the decision not to close the AL Anwar center, together with the resolve to strengthen the educational program for girls and young women, to restore and modernize the center, and to open it to more girls and young women in need.

SDC’s Director, Adv. Jumana Ighbariya Hammam, stressed that the municipality is responsible for the frameworks of the youth in Haifa. Nevertheless, services and frameworks available to the Arab community in Haifa are completely inadequate. Instead of closing a vital center such as Al-Anwar, the municipality must provide meaningful cultural, educational and social frameworks, both systematic and extracurricular for the youth in Haifa. SDC will continue to follow up on this case for the favor of Al-Anwar Center and its girls.

 

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