“I knew that Fatimah needed a boost of confidence. I wanted her to love school.  So I researched to find the best school for Fatimah in Bethlehem.”

Fatimah, like many children at SOS Children’s Villages – Palestine, had no education before coming to SOS at the age of 10. She could not even hold a pen, much less read and write.

Although she received private lessons every day and was enrolled in the SOS Hermann Gmeiner School in Bethlehem, learning and life was still difficult. At the age of 10, she was still in Grade 1 and all the other children in her class were 7 or 8 years old.

“I didn’t like school,” says Fatimah shyly. “I was the oldest in my class.  All the other children were a lot younger than me.  I did not feel smart, because I couldn’t read and write.”

Fatimah’s SOS Mother, Mama Hana’, knew that the solution was a different school:

“I knew that Fatimah needed a boost of confidence. It was not that she was not smart, but she was older than the others and this made it difficult for her to fit in. I wanted her to love school.  So I researched to find a good school for Fatimah in Bethlehem and that’s when I heard about the SIRA School, which gives special education for students who are behind in school. When Fatimah started to go to the SIRA School in fall 2016, I really started to see improvement! She started to be motivated to go to school and gained a lot of confidence.”

“I love the SIRA School!” says Fatimah. “The teachers are so nice to me and learning is fun.  I feel very smart too!”

Fatimah has had a lot of successes since going to the SIRA, but there is one moment that stands out to Mama Hana’:

“Over the winter break, I came up to Fatimah one day and she started reciting her multiplication tables. She hadn’t even been taught multiplication in school yet, but suddenly she was saying everything perfectly. When I told her that all of her answers were right, she started jumping up and down.  She was so excited that she could do them on her own! I was so happy to see that Fatimah is finally enjoying learning.”

Not Just To Learn, To Love Learning