Education Without Borders,” a special photo exhibition opening today (September 21) at the UN Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, showcases a unique Israeli initiative that provides continuing education for hospitalized children, including Arabs and Syrian refugees.

Israel’s Ministry of Education mandates that all children hospitalized for more than three days receive continuing education during their stays. The SASA Setton Kav Or Initiative, a nonprofit working in partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Education and World ORT Kadima Mada, provides formal educational programs in 35 medical centers across Israel and develops online platforms and curricula to enable children to continue schooling during lengthy hospital stays.

The photos by Israeli photographer Shahar Azran illustrate the mandate in practice at various hospitals.

Gazan youngsters Malek Abu Sultan, 4, and Yusra Abu Zarka, 3, at Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheva. Photo by Shahar Azran
Gazan youngsters Malek Abu Sultan, 4, and Yusra Abu Zarka, 3, at Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheva. Photo by Shahar Azran

“The SASA Setton Kav Or Initiative is a great example of a successful partnership between government, civil society and the private sector,” said Ambassador Eviatar Manor, the permanent representative of Israel to the United Nations in Geneva. “It provides an innovative platform that connects and promotes three major sets of human rights: the rights of the child, the right to health and the right to education.”

Some 200 visitors are expected to attend the opening, hosted by Israel’s UN mission and the World Jewish Congress and timed to coincide with the 30th UN Human Rights Council session.

Yichye Muhammad Ali, 20 months, from the Jerusalem area, at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Photo by Shahar Azran
Yichye Muhammad Ali, 20 months, from the Jerusalem area, at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Photo by Shahar Azran