The volunteer work I am doing is at the Al Basma Center for Special Needs youth and young adults from ages 15-35. The center was established in 1987 when a need was acknowledged and acted upon for the people with special needs.
The center currently works with 30 young people. They learn how to take care of their basic needs, they learn how to interact in society, they learn a trade and can earn a little money for themselves and their families. The clients make recycled paper to be used as Christmas cards, in many languages, and they are currently adding other market options through the cards with wedding invitations and sympathy cards. (I am helping design the wedding cards and sympathy cards!)
The clients use a loom to weave some beautiful rugs, purses and pillow covers. They also make olive wood cross neclaces and olive wood ornaments.
The Al Basma Center recently received funds from Germany to begin a green house where they hope to grow some vegtables, herbs, flowers, etc. for the local area.
Recently an engineer created a gadget to produce recycled paper and olive wood shavings into chunks to be burned which can be used in winter to heat people's homes as an alternative to coal.
The clients participate in group therapy through drama. The are learning "Little Red Riding Hood" I have seen their skit a few times, and always it brings a smile to my face, and of those around as well!!!
They are always looking for ways to reach both their clients and the local people of the community. I have met some great people. God is using their lives to make a difference in the world. Al Basma means to smile, it is a center where there are many smiles and encouragements.