The Princess Basma Center for Children with Disabilities
The American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ) was founded in 1988 as an independent, nonpolitical 501(c)3 organization. As a partner of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, it is dedicated to building the foundations of peace in the Middle East by financially supporting schools, hospitals, and other institutions under the care of the Diocese. Among the institutions AFEDJ supports is The Princess Basma Center for Children with Disabilities in East Jerusalem.
The Princess Basma Center provides evaluation, rehabilitation, and education for children and young adults with disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, deafness, blindness, and a range of specialized conditions and congenital defects; it provides the only program for Palestinian children with autism. Its unique programs support and educate whole families around the care of disabled children. The Center serves families from East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and its satellite clinics reach families in Ramallah, Nablus, and Hebron.
Disabilities still carry a heavy stigma in parts of the Middle East, and the disabled are among the most marginalized and forgotten people in the Holy Land. The Princess Basma Center is a powerful voice advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and the importance of creating inclusive education and integrated communities in Israel and Palestine.
The AFEDJ has raised more than $500,000 for the Princess Basma Center, including gifts of $10,000 in 2014 and 2015 from Epiphany Parish.