The first launching of this branch started in 1950 as a charitable organization with humanitarian nature; it worked in the past to help and provide relief to those evicted by force from their villages and towns in 1948. The branch worked then to meet the needs of the Palestinian people in the health, social, humanitarian and charitable fields in line with the basic law that was approved by the competent parties then.
The goals of the branch:
The PRCS branch in Nablus seeks to offer humanitarian, health, social and rehabilitation services, in addition to providing services to the old people in the Governorate of Nablus, especially the marginalized and fragile sectors of the society, in accordance with the available resources. The main sectors are as follows:
1- Old people who lost their shelter or their breadwinner; these are accommodated in the old people home that belongs to the PRCS Nablus branch.
2- Children with special needs and children who suffer physical, mental and hearing disorders. The branch offers them services through its rehabilitation center.
3- The Palestinians who were injured during the first and second Intifadas; these people receive free services at the physiotherapy center at the branch and they are offered also the support tools.
4- The retired and housewives who receive training courses and participate in workshops that are organized at the community center.
5- The Palestinians who live in remote areas and the areas that suffers from the Israeli occupation oppressive measures, in terms of the siege and destruction of agricultural establishments and lands.
Services to the citizens are also offered through the outpatient clinics and specialized centers in the PRCS in exchange for nominal fees. In order to achieve its goals, the branch continues to develop the services offered to the citizens and works to introduce new services that meet the needs and aspirations of the citizens. The branch also works to spread the mission statement and principles of the PRCS through the continuous awareness activities that are considered beneficial to the Palestinian society and its public institutions and charitable associations. This is done also through networking and cooperation with the various governments, academic institutions and local councils.
The branch exerts efforts to continue offering the services to the citizens under extremely difficult financial conditions. For this purpose, the branch gathers donations from the citizens in the city and from citizens living in Jordan and the Arab Gulf countries; however, the donations have been reduced significantly recently due to the world financial crises.
The branch centers
The Home for the Elderly:
it was established in 1950 to provide shelter to those who were deprived from living in a family environment that can protect and offer them health care and food. The home accommodates both males and females for almost no fees and is considered one of the landmarks of the city of Nablus. Tthe PRCS offers through this home shelter, health care, food, and counseling to 20 old people in a cozy family environment. The old people are served around the clock by a team of 17 employees.
The home organizes special entertainment, social and cultural activities, including a summer club which attracts, along with the old people, dozens of non-resident old people from the poor quarters in the city of Nablus and the nearby camps. The PRCS built in 2005 a plant nursery where the old people spend their time, thus having a positive impact on their moods.
In the framework of its continuous cooperation with the academic institutions, the branch allows a large number of Palestinian university and college students to train at the home, especially students majoring in education, sociology and psychology.
Special Education School (for children with mental disorders):
This school was established in 1975 to serve and care for the children with mental disorders. Children in this school receive vocational and academic education in line with their potential. The teaching staff in the school includes qualified teachers and specialized social counselors The school covers the expenses of taking the children (62 boys and girls) from their homes and sending them back to their homes on a daily basis free of charge. The school offers distinguished service in the area of IQ tests using the (Stanford Binet Index), in addition to training provided to a team on using Wexler -3 Scale..
Ambulance and Emergency Center:
It was established in 1978 and includes 14 ambulance cars and teams that work around the clock. This center worked during the two Intifadas in 1987 and 2000 under extremely difficult conditions. The teams performed superb services to the citizens without any interruption and for free.
Emergency Operations Room:
With the start of the Intifada in 2000, the size and scope of damage inflicted on the infrastructure of the Palestinian society escalated at an alarming rate, so the PRCS took a decision to establish a specialized department that can deal with natural disasters, such as earthquakes, or the man- made disasters caused by the occupation. The room is equipped with the necessary devices and equipment while also having accurate maps showing the quarters, streets and public places. A warehouse was recently added to include supplies and relief equipment, such as tents and field kitchens and other materials. The room also has a special team of employees and volunteers with experience to confront disasters.
It was established in 1981 to treat children who suffer from physical handicaps. The cadre of the department includes a group of specialized people in the fields of physiotherapy and occupational therapy and one orthopedist and qualified technicians. The department is equipped with the most advanced equipment and treatment means. The scope of department's services was expanded to deal with the various cases, including treatment of the elderly. Recently, they opened a special ward for women. The center offers therapeutic and rehabilitation services to the Palestinians injured during the Intifada for free. Moreover, the department includes:
* An artificial organs clinic which receives citizens who need support tools or artificial organs
* The physics center to treat squint and eye muscles: it is operated under the supervision of a specialist who holds a Masters Degree in this field. He is also certified by the Palestinian Health Ministry.
* Physical fitness club (health club) which offers physical fitness courses for both genders under the supervision of male and female specialized trainers.
* Occupational Therapy
* Cerebral Palsy which includes 19 boys and girls who suffer physical disorders and who receive educational, training and rehabilitation services.
The Center for people with hearing impairment:
It was established in 1986 to serve the children who were deprived from the gift of hearing. The center is operated by a distinguished cadre of female teachers and supervisors and social counselors who are qualified in the field of hearing impairment. The school accommodates 65 students. The center has a section for individual education and a computer lab. The center has an audiology section that includes the following:
* A hearing exam unit for both genders and for all ages ;
* A neurological test clinic and test of eye nerves and ears ;
* A laboratory for hearing equipment maintenance and stethoscopes;
* Speech therapy unit ;
* Brain stem hearing device (ABR). This service has been introduced to the center recently (at the start of 2011).
Community Rehabilitation Program:
Work in this program started in 1995 in partnership with the Medical Relief Society and funding from Swedish Diakonia Institute. This is based on the vision of the PRCS towards the community and the possibility of developing it through full partnership with the aim of re-integrating the people with special needs in the community after rehabilitation. There are 20 female workers who work in this program, they come from the villages, camps and governorates in the north. Services are provided to the people with special needs and their families. All services are offered for free.
Youth and Volunteers Section:
Voluntary work is considered one of the most important pillars of the PRCS which embarked from the beginning on developing the spirit of voluntary work in the society. For this purpose, a Youth and Volunteers department was established and operated in 1995. Number of volunteers joining this section reached more than 220 male and female volunteers who also benefit from first aid and cultural training courses. The volunteers offer to the society various services in first aid, social and awareness fields.
Due to the continuous interaction between the branch and the local community in various aspects, the PRCS opened a community center in 2006. The center aims to develop the mechanisms of interaction with the citizens. The center offers various services to all sectors of the community through specialized courses and activities, such as courses in computer field, courses in young leaders and voluntary action and other aspects.
Productive Rehabilitation Projects:
The branch developed its rehabilitation vision in dealing with the students of its rehabilitation center . It established three vital projects that provide services to children with special needs and helps thembecome productive members of the society by acquiring a profession so they can earn an income and support their families.
* A carpentry for productive rehabilitation educational games: students from the school for hearing impaired children and the special education school are trained in carpentry.
* A plant nursery was established on the land of the Home for the ElderlyIts helps old people psychologically by improving their mood. Students from the school for hearing impaired children and the special education school are trained at this plant nursery on a weekly basis.
* A modern computer lab that includes nine computers to train the students from the school for hearing impaired children.It also provides training to the children who join the summer camps that are organized by the branch every year.
Educational Counseling Section:
This section is operated by four social counselors.It was established in 2000 to achieve two basic goals:
First: to provide psychosocial counseling service to the children who join the rehabilitation center and their parents.
Second: To conduct social case studies in Nablus Governorate and offer recommendations on how to assist them within the available means.
Rehabilitation Library: This unique library, which is the first of its kind in Palestine, was established in 1998 to meet the rehabilitation needs of children with special needs through the use of advanced educational methods, games, CDs, books and magazines that are compatible with the level of the targeted children.
Future plans of the branch
In line with the general policy of the PRCS to develop the quality and quantity of its services in accordance with the needs of the society and to serve its own goals, the branch is currently setting up the following plans:
* To establish a modern home for the elderly on a plot of land that is owned by the PRCS in the western region of the city because of the increasing number of old people who want to join the branch
* To develop the current audiology center; a new E.M.G. machine and an E.E.G. machine were purchased.
* To develop the current home for the elderly in a manner that meets with the needs of the old people and upgrade the services it offers.
* The branch is currently building a specialized maternity and childhood hospital over its current building which is 5,000 square meters. The cost of the project is estimated at $5 million. The following are the reasons behind the need for this project:
1- The project will offer services to a large sector of the Palestinian population in the city of Nablus and the neighboring villages and camps, in addition to the governorate in the north.
2- Children and pregnant women need public health services. The hospital will include high quality facilities and will offer special services to the newly born babies and pregnant women.
3- To provide jobs to a team of specialists and workers in the medical field. This will contribute towards reducing the problem of unemployment that faces the entire Palestinian society.
4- The establishment of such a project in the city of Nablus will serve educational purposes where the students the schools of medicine and pharmacology at Al-Najah University can receive their training. This project will make the hospital an educational hospital in the future.
The PRCS Administration in al-Bireh offered the necessary support to establish this project. It contributed in making contacts with the donors. The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development in Kuwait donated $500,000 for the project. The Arab Monetary Fund donated through al-Aqsa Fund an amount of $300,000, in addition to a grant from UAE Red Crescent Commission of $100,000. The contacts through Dr. Younes al-Khatib, President of the PRCS and Head of International Cooperation, resulted in securing the funds needed to complete the hospital (building finishing and equipment), in addition to support to establish the home for the elderly.