McCabe Educational Trust logo

McCabe Educational Trust

icon-location 11 Hillgate Place, Balham Hill, London, SW12 9ER, United Kingdom

icon-charity Registration number 1020058

icon-phone 02086756828



The McCabe Educational Trust is the charitable wing of McCabe Pilgrimages, functions independently with its own board of Directors and is a registered charity. The trust was launched in 1991 at Lambeth Palace when we were honoured by George Carey, th...See more
Princess Basma Centre

Princess Basma Centre

opportunity-location SW12 9ER London
opportunity-dates 01 Nov 2016 - 01 Nov 2017
The centre opened in 1965 as a fledgling hospital helping Palestinian children suffering with polio and cerebral palsy. At this time Jerusalem was part of Jordan and the new centre enjoyed the active support of the Jordanian royal family. King Hussein’s sister, Amira Basma, officially opened the first building and gave her name to the work. Almost fifty years later, Basma has gone from strength to strength and for thirty of those years, Betty Majaj has been the remarkable Christian Director. At any one time there are up to 18 mothers living in the centre with their disabled children. They are resident during the week and go home at weekends. The rehabilitation programme deals with the whole family so that the mother learns as well as the child how best to deal with everyday life when they return home. Of the staff, 20% are disabled or have special needs and some are former patients. This work is encouraged by the Israelis who grant visas for West Bankers to enter Jerusalem, and partly funded by the Palestinian Authority. The budget, however, does not balance. The cost per day to treat one family is approximately £100 with Palestinian Authority funding of only £70 – and this money is regularly left unpaid. A daily heating bill for the mother and child unit in the region of £250 is a constant worry. In 1987 Betty expanded the work and a school was opened where disabled children could be taught alongside able-bodied in a supported environment: a unique concept at the time. Today, the school caters for 3 year olds right through to 18 year olds and of the 650 children enrolled, almost 200 have special needs, including 75 who are deaf and 33 who are physically disabled. All of the children are Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and the surrounding area. It is testament to Betty’s strength of character that she has developed an excellent cooperation with the Israeli authorities. Basma is recognized as a charity in both Israel and Jordan and since 2000 has come under the oversight of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem. The Israeli authorities pay the teachers’ salaries as part of the Israeli education budget, and also help with specialist treatments such as cochlear implants and hearing aids. Nominal fees are charged, but funding is an ever present problem. For instance, when we visited, Jerusalem was under snow, and the school is unheated! A musical note! Betty is a great lover of music and has built a relationship with the Edward Said Music Foundation. Ten students currently attend and fees are currently £600 per annum. The Foundation pays 45% of the fees; Betty finds another 45% and each student finds the remaining 10% giving the musician a real involvement. We would love to see more funds made available to expand this initiative. This is an example of how the McCabe Educational Trust works. We are trying to give something back to the many inspirational Christians we meet whilst on a Holy Land pilgrimage. It is their witness which is keeping the gospel story alive in the Land of Christ’s birth.
icon-status Donation/Grant Opportunity
Target Goal £5000
icon-campaign-status-header Charity & Project

McCabe Educational Trust


Project Name

Princess Basma Centre

Helping beneficiaries


opportunity-location-logo Location