Tamer Institute’s annual reading promoting campaign Read to me Babba aims to to encourage parents, mainly fathers, to join and participate with their children in the various activities inside libraries and community centers. Here’s program co-ordinator Ruba Totah’s own words about the actual activities that took place this year:
The fourth year of the campaign, Read to Me Babba, was remarkable! This year, Tamer Institute did not bring any idea about how to make an activity within this campaign inside libraries. It was all brainstormed and implemented by them. At one library, 60 parents of 30 children were present in one of the activity. Each of the children had one or two parents with him/her, contrary to past years, as some parents were missing. During this activity, the librarian decided to activate the family about any remaining found at home through a handcrafting workshop to create character that tell a story! Fathers were surprised of the connection created with their children. One parent said ‘ I never felt as comfortable with having a child, where I don’t have to worry about feeding, but about the stories we create together’.
In Nablus, the activities were organized at the old city, where parents and children met in an atmosphere of love and caring. Their children prepared sketches with messages to convey to their parents, and then they all involved in an activity of redoing puzzles. In Bethlehem, Parents and children when for a walking trip all the way up to the Cremisan Monastry, where plantations are widely spread, yet uprooted by the Israeli occupation to build the Annexation and Separation Wall. The natural and human history was all revived by a guide, for all parents and children to know and share expressed feelings.
In Jerusalem, the main activity started at the Old city, where a hospices is established for charity, where Palestinian families have been joining around to give and to participate with others. The activity included a walking trip around the old city, with a storyteller stopping with participants at various stops to tell a historical story about the place they stop at. In Gaza Strip, at Shouka village, where a border line with Egypt, 170 parents joined the activity. One of the parents, illiterate, was determined to participate. He told the children a story about life, even though he can’t read or write.
Join us from where you are, whether outside or inside Palestine, children need parents to communicate and books are one important mediator!