Creating the Basis for a Dignified Life: The Government of Germany and UNDP Inaugurate the Star Mountain Rehabilitation Centre in Ramallah

Mar 16, 2017

Revealing the plaque at Star Mountain Rehabilitation Centre by Mr Peter Beerwerth, Dr. Laila Ghannam and Ms Ghada Naser

Ramallah, 16 March 2017 – The Federal Republic of Germany, through its German Development Bank KfW, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP/PAPP), marked the inauguration of the Star Mountain Rehabilitation Center in an effort to support the integration of persons with disabilities into the Palestinian community and improve their livelihoods.

Peter Beerwerth, Head of Mission of the German Representative Office in Ramallah, stated: “Germany has been supporting Palestine for many years now and has proved to be a reliable partner, also in difficult times. We strongly believe that we can contribute to development and improved living conditions. I would like to thank the Star Mountain Rehabilitation Center our project partner for providing important services for people and also children with special needs.”

The renovation works at the Star Mountain Rehabilitation Center were funded by the Federal Republic of Germany, through phase 10 of its employment generation programme, for the amount of USD 124,000, and implemented by UNDP. Rehabilitation works covered a total area of approximately 500 m2 and generated approximately 1,237 workdays, including 78 for women. 

The centre provides professional training for persons with disabilities to be able to interact with their communities by providing several specialized treatments, such as physiotherapy, speech therapy and psychological support, not only for their students, but also to their families. The project will support the centre to continue providing specialized programmes for 270 persons with disabilities and their families, and will also increase the capacity of the centre to host more applicants who are on the waiting list and need support.

Ghada Naser, Director of Star Mountain Center highlighted that the renovation and internal maintenance of the 58-year old building has created a safe and friendly environment for persons with intellectual disability, their families, staff members and visitors. “Believing in the right of persons with disability to rehabilitation, training and education, the new facilities will allow for more professional programmes and services for people with disability and thus more accessibility for them. The end goal is to equip children and youth with intellectual disability with educational, economic, social, cognitive, daily life and vocational skills that will ultimately enable them to be included within their communities, respected and leading a life with dignity. Star Mountain extends its utmost gratefulness to the Federal Republic of Germany, through its German Development Bank KfW, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP/PAPP) for realizing this long waited for dream”.

Nader Atta, UNDP Governance and Social Development Officer in Charge highlighted “Without question, this grassroots programme is a series of exceptional development interventions that have not only improved the physical character of over 330 Palestinian communities throughout the State of Palestine, but was a vehicle to improve the socio-economic wellbeing of children, youth, women, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and citizenry in general of the targeted community. This project at Star Mountain is not an exception. Today, the Government and people of Germany have once again lit the Palestinian skies with another twinkle.”

The ceremony, which took place on Thursday 16 March 2017, was attended by Mr Peter Beerwerth, Permanent Representative of the Representative Office of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ramallah, Dr. Laila Ghannam, Governor of Ramallah and Al-Bireh, Rev. Niels Gaertner, Liaison Officer Moravian Church - Giving Blessings, Ms Ghada Naser, Director of Star Mountain Center, and Mr Nader Atta, UNDP Governance and Social Development Officer in Charge.

The Government of Germany has funded, through KfW and executed by UNDP, over 726 projects in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip through its Euro 91.9 million Employment Generation Programme (EGP), generating over 1.2 million workdays and thousands of permanent jobs.

It is worth noting that the Star Mountain Rehabilitation Centre is one of the few rehabilitation centres in the West Bank that provides programmes and services to people with disability, in particular those with intellectual disability. Star Mountain also works with 105 outpatients with intellectual disabilities in their homes to offer physiotherapy, counselling programmes, and psycho-social support for both persons with disabilities, and their family members.

Contact information

Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: dania.darwish@undp.org. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.ps.undp.org.

Raghad Shanti, Office Manager, Tel. .+970-2-2400730 – e-mail: Raghad.shanti@kfw.de, KfW Office Ramallah / Al Bireh. For more information about KfW Development Bank see http://www.kfw-entwicklungsbank.de.