The political and economic situation in Jerusalem since 1967 has created a gap between blind and visually impaired people and the rest of the Palestinian society. Not only are blind and visually impaired people socially marginalised and stripped of their human rights, they are also denied their right to medical care, education and work.
Due to the separation of the West Bank from Jerusalem following the construction of the Annexation Wall, blind and visually impaired Jerusalemites have been separated from the Ramallah-based Union of Disabled Palestinians which used to host their activities and meetings. This severely affected the social life of Jerusalem's blind and visually impaired Palestinians and also hindered their possibilities to receive psychological and physical treatment.
A group of blind and visually impaired Palestinians responded by founding an association that mainly aimed to integrate blind and visually impaired Palestinians in the society and provide them with an opportunity to prove that they are capable of living like the rest by sending a message to the Palestinian community in Jerusalem to strengthen acceptance and partnership with disabled people.
Equality, transparency, and professionalism.
Blind and visually impaired Jerusalemites enjoy equal education and employment opportunities as the rest of the Palestinians and are capable of integrating into the city's social life.
The association will launch advocacy campaigns and projects aimed at capacity building and raising the awareness of blind and non-blind Palestinians alike in order to increase the participation of blind people in the production process in the city.
- Helping blind and visually impaired people actively integrate into society.
- Building and improving the capacities of blind and visually impaired people in order to increase participation in social life.
- Integrating blind and visually impaired people in Jerusalem from a young age through conducting programmes that increase interaction such as integrative summer camps.
- Building the capacities of women in general, and mothers and teachers in particular, so they can encourage confidence-building in blind and visually impaired people.
- Meeting the basic needs of beneficiaries.
Seraj welcomes volunteers in the fields of supervising summer camps and education and training in the supportive education programme. Preference for people with fluent Arabic.
- Stationery for children.
- Entertaining games for children including balls, bicycles and fooballs for blind children.
- A video-monitoring system to increase children's security.
- Education tools for blind and visually impaired children including colourful boards.
- A hall for conducting workshops that also contains a projector and screen.
- Integrative programmes and courses.
- Play yard for children.
- Training courses and integrative educational programmes that teach science and languages in Braille.
- Training courses for teachers that provide them with the necessary skills to deal with blind and visually impaired students.
- Supporting blind and visually impaired students by conducting frequent lessons in schools.
- Musical courses for blind and visually impaired people including keyboard.
- The integrative sporting programme that includes swimming courses conducted in partnership with the YMCA, the Civic Care Foundation, and the Arab Institute.
- Monthly tours for blind and visually impaired Palestinians including visiting natural and archaeological sites.
- Training mothers on school curricula so they can help their blind and visually impaired children.