Asia, Palestine, Education

    Promotion of children with intellectual disabilities

    Project Number: 296.1510

    The "Sternberg" rehabilitation center near Ramallah in Palestine supports children and young people with disabilities. Social workers, physiotherapists and art therapists support the affected families through home visits and thus contribute to the social integration of people with disabilities. Children can attend an integrative kindergarten or a special school, and older adolescents also have the opportunity to complete vocational training in agriculture, manual labor or home economics at the center.

    Background information

    In 1867, the Herrnhuters began caring for lepers in Jerusalem. In the meantime, leprosy has become curable. The buildings, cisterns and the landscaped garden with trees and shrubs have now functioned as a rehabilitation center for people with disabilities since 1981. Many families are left on their own to care for disabled family members. The "Sternberg" supports affected families and provides educational and vocational qualifications for people with disabilities to enable them to integrate into Palestinian society. Regardless of their religious affiliation, each person receives individual support in their immediate living environment. In the midst of an often turbulent environment, the "Sternberg" is an oasis of peace and tranquility. The management of the center is in Palestinian hands. At the "Sternberg", peaceful cooperation between Christian and Muslim children and staff is a matter of course.


    Project goals

    Support for children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities:

    • In an inclusive kindergarten for children from 3 months to 6 years old
    • In a special school for children from 6 to 14 years old
    • In an autism program for children ages 6 to 14.
    • In a vocational school for young people from 14 years
    • In community-based social work in villages and communities in the northern West Bank.
    • Advocacy work to raise awareness in Palestinian society about the rights and needs of fellow Palestinians with disabilities.

    Target groups

    • 15 children with and without impairments in inclusive kindergarten
    • 30 children with impairments in special school and autism program
    • 39 Young people in sheltered vocational training
    • 106 children and adolescents with disabilities in 11 villages and communes and in a refugee camp
    • Palestinian society in the framework of advocacy work.


    Children and adolescents with mental disabilities are supported at "Sternberg" and in surrounding villages with the help of art, music, theater, speech, physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Regular visits to parents and families enable close integration of the social environment into the therapeutic measures. In addition to the support of children in kindergarten and special school, there is extensive vocational training work with an attached sheltered workshop and agriculture. The "Sternberg" also carries out successful awareness and advocacy work for the rights of persons with disabilities.


    Project progress

    The "Sternberg" is now a recognized pioneer of special education in Palestine and contributes to the implementation of the human right to inclusion, i.e. fair participation of all people in Palestinian society. This can be seen, among other things, in the increasing number of children with disabilities who are able to attend regular schools, at least on a daily basis, or of young people who, after completing vocational training on the "Sternberg", have been able to take up regular employment outside the country. Very gratifying is the regular participation of young people from the Sternberg in the Special Olympics, the Olympics for people with disabilities. Also at the Special Olympics, which took place in Berlin in July, a student from Sternberg won a gold medal in the 100m sprint. Sternberg employees also do important education work about the rights of people with disabilities. Via social media, 2022 saw a broad and successful Campaign with the title "It's my right", which has found a broad echo in Palestinian society. The fact that the Sternberg's educational and inclusion work is bearing fruit is proven by the numerous former Sternberg students who have been taken on as regular employees by Palestinian companies.


    • 4.92 million inhabitants
    • Land area of 6'220 km2


    Project budget 2024

    CHF 46'000


    Jacqueline Brunner

    Responsible Church Partnerships

    Tel. 061 260 23 37
    ► E-mail

    Johannes Klemm

    Team Leader Africa and Program Manager Tanzania
    Tel: +41 (0)61 260 23 04
    ► E-mail

    Hope thanks to your support

    Mission 21
    Protestant Mission Basel

    PO Box 270
    Missionsstrasse 21
    4009 Basel, Switzerland
    Tel.: +41 (0)61 260 21 20

    Donation account Switzerland:
    IBAN: CH58 0900 0000 4072 6233 2
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    Donation account Germany:
    Savings Bank Lörrach-Rheinfelden
    Swift BIC: SKLODE66
    BLZ: 683 500 48
    IBAN: DE39 6835 0048 0001 0323 33
    Account No. : 1032333

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