The summer activities for migrant children on school holiday began at Saint Rachel in mid July and came to a close on Thursday, August 31, 2017.

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About one hundred children participated in the various activities that were offered on a daily basis at the Saint Rachel Center in Jerusalem throughout the summer. In addition, a small group of toddlers joined the older children each day as preparation for their going to kindergarten in September. This year, there was a large increase in the number of younger children from African asylum seeker families. The Center opened its doors to the children at 9.00 each day and closed at 18.00, providing a safe and fun place for children without school, whose parents had to go to work.

A special vote of thanks goes to Daniel, who served as the responsible person in the absence of Sister Claudia, the director of the after-school, who was away in Italy. Thanks also to Ronny and Ajaj from the Vicariate community who were there daily as well as to a large group of volunteers who came to give a hand for certain weeks, days or hours. We mention only a few here to illustrate their diversity: Sister Sara from Italy, Alec from the United States, seminarian Matthew from Poland, Daniele from Italy, seminarian Javier from Spain and Iginio from Italy, both from the Neo-Catechumenate Seminary in Galilee, the group of youth led by Father Nicola from Italy, Vicariate seminarian Benedetto, Ermanno from Italy, Father Rafic from the Jerusalem kehilla and many, many others!

On Wednesday afternoon, August 30, 2017, their was a concluding party during which Father David and Father Rafic thanked all those who had worked so hard and gave thanks that the summer ended in celebration. The children were safe and sound and perhaps had learnt a little more than what they had known at the beginning of the summer. The celebration included songs as well as two dance sequences performed by the children. The parents joined the celebration and brought food and drink!

We are thankful too to all the donors, especially the Pontifical Mission, who made all this possible.

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