A Safe Green Schoolyard for Gaza Border Children to Play

A new missile-proof elementary school is currently being built for children living near the troubled Gaza border. Join KKL-JNF in creating a safe green schoolyard for them to play in.

September 6, 2018 18:10
2 minute read.
Constructing a courtyard at the reinforced elementary school in Sha'ar Hanegev.

Constructing a courtyard at the reinforced elementary school in Sha'ar Hanegev.. (photo credit: YOAV DEVIR KKL-JNF)


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A new elementary school is currently being built in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council in
cooperation with KKL-JNF. Work will be soon completed, and the roar of the tractors will
soon be replaced by the sounds of children’s laughter. The school is located in the desert close
to the troubled Gaza border region. With your partnership, KKL-JNF will create a green
haven for these children to play in.

“Education is the foundation stone of the entire community,” said Alon Shuster, Head of the
Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council. “Here, in this area, education must be both protected and
also high-quality, so that whoever decides to live and bring up their children here will know
that they have made the right choice.”A decade ago, the first reinforced school in the world was built in Sha’ar Hanegev. It was
built for 640 students, but today it is attended by 870 students, and there’s no more room to
accept new pupils. This is why a new school building is so important.

KKL-JNF, with the support of its Friends around the world, is playing a crucial role in
infrastructure development and is landscaping the school grounds. “We are very active for the
communities on the Gaza Strip border, so it’s only natural that we should help set up the
school,” said KKL-JNF Southern Region Architect Nili Stern-Biber. “We will create a
beautiful green surrounding, without compromising on the children’s security.”

Development includes paved paths, courtyards, protected outdoor classrooms, gardens,
playground equipment, sitting corners and shading. The trees to be planted around the
courtyard will serve a double function, as Stern-Biber explained: “They will add beauty and
shade, and they will also conceal the schoolyard from the eyes of terrorists and snipers, and
will also absorb shrapnel from missiles if the need arises.”

The school buildings are reinforced against missiles and rockets. Iron netting covers the
external wall to protect it from missiles. The computer room will be located in the bomb
shelter. That’s how it is when an educational institution is located only about four kilometers away from
the Gaza border.

“It’s already been 16 years that we’ve had to withstand different sorts of attacks from the
Gaza Strip – from the sea, the air and by land, but the Sha’ar Hanegev communities continue
to grow, to become stronger and to absorb new families,” Shuster said. “It’s amazing, it really
can’t be taken for granted.”

More about the project and on becoming a partner


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