In the summer of 2009, MECI introduced community service to its core program. In Beit Rima, West Bank, MECI' Village Coordinator and local staff work with the Mayor's office to determine the most needy individuals, families and special community projects. MECI provides the funds to procure local supplies for these projects and MECI students complete them. Our students and counselors perform weekly community service activities that have touched the hearts of families who live in dire conditions. In addition, MECI's dedication to environmental awareness and ecological excellence is a common theme in our public service. While most of MECI's students and their families suffer from economic hardship, our students are consistently aware that there is always an individual or family with greater needs.
During the last quarter, 120 girls and 11 mothers participated with MECI staff in 10 community service projects. The service activities included:
Artistic activities in homes like decorations and drawings of wall murals.
Painting the corridors and adding new bright murals to the elementary boy's school where dark colors formerly covered the walls
Environmental activities for the municipality such as cleaning public park areas
Creating and improving existing home vegetable gardens for needy families who will benefit from seasonal food crops.
Planting trees for families and beautification at the girls' elementary school to instill school pride
Singing and dancing traditional Palestinian folklore for the elderly
Performing recreational and education activities for families with unique challenges, like single mothers, under the supervision 0f MECI counselors and our psychologist
MECI staff reported that respectful and responsible behavior along with improved presentation skills and self-confidence for all students is the greatest return on investment from the new MECI community service program. MECI students not only receive lessons in community awareness and service but are also becoming future role models in their own right.
This unique initiative, unparalleled in the West Bank, has served to unite village residents and MECI in ongoing community development, civic awareness and responsibility by providing a conduit for the high premium placed on social welfare in Palestinian society.