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Fun Day at the Zoo

Humans Without Borders held its annual fun day for the children whom we assist, and their families, on June 23 at the Tisch Family Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem.

The process of obtaining entry permits for the event proved to be complicated and as a result, fewer families participated than we had originally anticipated.  Forty children receiving medical care in Jerusalem hospitals attended, along with their sisters, brothers and parents, altogether around 140 people. In addition, there were some volunteers from Humans without Borders, and high school students from the Hand in Hand Bilingual School in Jerusalem who came to help out.

One of our volunteers, Dalia Sternik, who also volunteers at the zoo, organized the entire procedure of the visit. We must mention the wonderful cooperation on behalf of the zoo management.

We provided buses for the families from Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem. The families arrived at the zoo at around 9:00. A lovely breakfast was served on the lawn overlooking a large pond with all sorts of water fowl. The group then spent several hours touring the zoo, with Arabic-speaking guides from the zoo who provided explanations about the animals. Most of the children had never been to a zoo before and it was a wonderful opportunity for them to enjoy the animals as well as the large open expanses of the park.

At 13:30 the families all gathered for lunch on the lawn. By this point, everyone had worked up an appetite and they enjoyed the meal of chicken with rice, salad and yogurt. They finished off with ice lollies, provided through the generosity of one of our volunteers, together with a staff member at the zoo.

The experience was memorable for the children and their families, providing them all with some respite from the problems they face on a constant basis. It was also an opportunity for the volunteers who attended to get to meet siblings of the children whom they know and to interact in a relaxed fashion, not only while contending with traffic jams.

This event was made possible through a generous contribution from Children of Peace.


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