UNRWA opens new school garden for Palestinian girls in the West Bank

This garden marks the start of UNRWA's "community greening" initiative for Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

 A young girl places stones at the base of a tree in the new garden at Beit Anan Girls School in the West Bank during the garden's inaugural ceremony on November 10, 2022.  (photo credit: LOUISE WATERIDGE/UNRWA)
A young girl places stones at the base of a tree in the new garden at Beit Anan Girls School in the West Bank during the garden's inaugural ceremony on November 10, 2022.
(photo credit: LOUISE WATERIDGE/UNRWA)

The United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) Beit Anan Girls’ School in the West Bank village of Beit Anan officially opened up its new school garden on Thursday morning, in a joint venture between UNRWA and the European Union (EU).

Beit Anan is a frequent site of violence and clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians. 

The inauguration ceremony for the new garden was attended by children of UNRWA Beit Anan Girl’s School, as well as the EU Head of Cooperation, Ibrahim Laafia, Director of UNRWA Affairs in the West Bank, Adam Bouloukos and Chief of the UNRWA Education Programme in the West Bank, Muawiya Amar.

I feel so proud that my school is growing and evolving and that our efforts in the garden will remain for the next generation,

Nassim, a student at Beit Anan Girls' School
 Students at Beit Anan Girls' School celebrate the opening of the new school garden on November 10, 2022.  (credit: COURTESY OF UNRWA) Students at Beit Anan Girls' School celebrate the opening of the new school garden on November 10, 2022. (credit: COURTESY OF UNRWA)

The opening of the school garden marks the launch of the joint EU-UNRWA endeavor entitled "community greening." The goal is to create more livable, pleasant outdoor spaces for Palestinians to gather.

A statement about the project on the UNRWA website states that: "The initiative will produce, restore and preserve green spaces, while simultaneously encouraging environmental awareness, nutritional education and relaxation, encourage recycling, increase physical and outdoor activity, stimulate social interaction and beautify neighborhoods."

The students can celebrate

“I like the sunshade area. I feel so proud that my school is growing and evolving and that our efforts in the garden will remain for the next generation,” said Nassim, 13, a student from Beit Anan Girls' School. “The sight of the trees and flowers make us feel positive and enthusiastic to learn,” she added.

“The new vegetable garden helps us to plant different vegetables by ourselves," explained Rama, a 9th grader at Beit Anan Girls' School. "This garden is a long-lasting project that is not limited to a certain period of time. Some of us are experiencing growing fruit and vegetables for the first time because we don’t have land to grow whatever we want. We feel comfortable and motivated here.”