The Play Center was started in 1976 in the Amari Refugee Camp by the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment for preschool children.
How many students attend the Play Center?
The Play Center can accommodate 42 five year olds, and is full year after year.
What is FUM’s connection to Amari?
The Amari Play Center is a donor ependent project. FUM’s role is to channel donations from Friends to the Play Center, to help cover the costs of supplies, food, salaries, and utilities. Joyce Ajlouny, employed by FUM as director of the Ramallah Friends Schools, acts as manager of the Play Center supervisor, Muna Khleifi.
What is a typical day for the students at the Play Center?
A typical school day begins at 7:30 a.m. with singing, followed by an opportunity for the children to share what they did after school the day before. Early morning instruction focuses on letters and words. The children learn both English and Arabic. The instruction at Amari is very hands-on, actively engaging the students in playful activities while they learn.
At 10 a.m. the students take a break to have sandwiches and milk and play in the outdoor play area. Class reconvenes at 10:30 with singing. Late morning instruction focuses on numbers. The final hour of the school day is spent doing arts and crafts and storytelling. School ends at 1 p.m.
How can I help?
Include Amari students, teachers, families, and the Amari refugee community in your prayers, and return the form on the back of this bulletin to FUM with your donation.
FUM Ministry of the Month* — March 2012 Amari Play Center
Malak is a student at the Amari Play Center. He is five years old. Last year his sister Amani was a student at the Play Center. When Malak was afraid of being away from his mother, Amani reassured him that he would be happy at the Play Center. “We play, learn to sing, and go on picnics,” she told him, adding, “I wish I could stay at the Play Center forever!”
Amani was right. Malak is happy at the school. “I like Miss Wafiyeh and Miss Reema,” he says. “I like to drink the milk at the Play Center. Sometimes Miss Reema makes it like pudding and puts coconut and cinnamon in it on winter days.”
Amani helps Malak with his homework and says she wants to be a teacher at the Play Center when she grows up. Malak thinks he would like to work at the Play Center one day too, or even open a Play Center of his own.
Students like Amani and Malak benefit greatly from the educational instruction, regular meals, and spiritual nurture they receive from the staff and volunteers at Amari Play Center. Please remember them in your prayers this month.
*Each month through December 2012, we will focus on a different ministry of Friends United Meeting. This “Ministry of the Month” corresponds with the FUM wall calendar that is available for $7.50 from www.fum.org/shop.
Download the pdf of the March 2012 FOCUS