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Norwich refugee charity celebrates 10 years

A Norwich educational charity set up in memory of a Norwich church minister to support students from a Palestinian refugee camp is marking its 10th anniversary ...

A Norwich educational charity, set up in memory of a Norwich church minister, to support students from a Palestinian refugee camp is marking its 10th anniversary and has just become an independent charity, reports Network Norwich & Norfolk.

The John Aves Education Project (JAEP) was set up in 2007 in memory of Norwich minister, Rev Canon Dr John Aves, who was living and working in Dheisheh refugee camp in Palestine at the time of his death in January 2004.  

Over the last decade the charity has raised over £109,000 and has now financially supported 22 young people from the refugee camp to attend Al Quds University.  

Last November the Trust became an independent charity. It came under the auspices of YMCA Norfolk until that time.  

John’s wife Anne, who is chair of the charity, thanked supporters, saying: “It’s so encouraging how the project is developing and how the support for our work is steadily growing. Thank you very much for your part in all of this, it is very much appreciated by us and of course the young people of Dheisheh Camp. 

“I am currently planning my 2017 trip to Dheisheh and Al Quds University. I’m really looking forward to being joined on this visit by two or three others, drawn from the Norwich Cathedral community and clergy in the diocese. We will stay at both Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem and Al Quds University in East Jerusalem. We will join the students in their classes, meet university tutors, and spend time with the families of the young people thereby enabling us to deepen our understanding of the situation there.”  

On May 19, JAEP supporters are invited to attend the 5.30pm evensong at Norwich Cathedral to be followed by a reception with refreshments in the Hostry. Patron Bishop Graham James will be there to celebrate ten years of JAEP and becoming an independent charity.  

The Trust seeks to empower disadvantaged young people to fulfil their potential through educational achievement in order for them to better serve their community.  

Before his death, John wrote from the refugee camp: “This centre is run by some of the many Palestinians who are placing their hopes in educating their children in dance groups, in self-confidence and language skills and computer technology to carry on the long-term struggle with dignity and grace.”

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