From Helen Keller to the Terra Sancta School in Jerusalem: time for diplomas

Graduation time in the Holy Land, also in this particular year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. After a long period spent at home, with students busy taking classes online, the institutes reopened for a few weeks and it was possible to celebrate the end of the school year in the last days of June.

In Beit Hanina, an Arab neighborhood on the outskirts of Jerusalem, a very special celebration took place at Helen Keller School, attended by students with special needs, who continued their studies with even greater commitment and determination.

Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land, the director of the school Br. Ibrahim Faltas and the Palestinian Ambassador to the Holy See, Issa Kassisieh.

Custos of the Holy Land
"We are very proud to have had the opportunity to celebrate the graduation of these students with special needs in this particular year. It is very important to convey the message that people with special needs must be fully integrated into our society."

Graduate Helen Keller School
"When I started school, I didn't know anything. I want to thank the administration, Brother Ibrahim and the teaching staff of the school for educating me properly."

Education remains one of the most important commitments for the Custody of the Holy Land.

Director Helen Keller - Terra Sancta School Jerusalem
"The Franciscan friars have always taken care of young people and their education. We provide education, housing and work, so that Christians remain in this Holy Land in spite of everything."

The students enter the room one by one, accompanied by the applause of their families. In this particular school even the speeches from the stage are special: this blind girl reads a poem by running her fingers through a sheet of paper written with the Braille alphabet.

Educational Counsellor - Deputy Head of School Helen Keller
"Our staff was able to communicate with students with visual impairments even during the period when they were forced to stay at home.
We were able to follow the educational curricula until the end of the Coronavirus period, and when we returned we completed the entire program."

Great celebration also at the auditorium of the Pontifical Institute Notre Dame, where diplomas were awarded to the students of the Terra Sancta School in Jerusalem. In the morning the protagonists were the youngest students, in the evening it was the turn of the kids who had completed their high school diploma. The graduates handed over a torch to the eleventh year students: a passing of the baton and a wish for their school career, which will end next year.

Director Helen Keller - Terra Sancta School Gerusalemme
"The students presented the Ministry's exams online. They were also very busy taking classes via the internet. The family and teaching staff have made a great effort during all these months."

Custos of the Holy Land
"Students must return to normal life as soon as possible. But the fact that this celebration was possible is already a sign of hope."


Christian Media Center