In 1867, the Leprosarium Jesus Hilfe was established by the Worldwide Moravian Church as a secluded sanctuary in Jerusalem for individuals suffering from
leprosy. Following the 1948 War, Moravian Sister Johanna Larsen relocated to the Palestinian village of Abu Qash, northeast of Ramallah, and founded a leprosy hospital in 1959. The hospital operated until the 1990s when medical advancements led to the discovery of a cure for leprosy, rendering the hospital unnecessary. In 1981, the facility was transformed into Star Mountain Rehabilitation Center (SMRC), which caters to Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (PwIDs).
Over the years, SMRC has been dedicated to providing educational, rehabilitative, and vocational training services to PwIDs. In 2011, it formed a coalition with other disability organizations and networks, including PwIDs, their parents, Nahda Women Association, Silwad Rehabilitation Center, Aswat Society, the Independent Commission for Human Rights, the Charity Association for Disabled and Family Counseling, Jasmine Charitable Society, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), Dar Al-Salam Society, and the General Palestinian Union of People with Disability. Together, they have exerted pressure on policymakers to align national laws, policies, and procedures with the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
SMRC employs 11 administrative staff members and 21 individuals specialized in rehabilitation and therapy support services.
To protect the dignity of persons with intellectual disabilities in Palestine.
Star Mountain Rehabilitation Center (SMRC) is an institution of the Worldwide Moravian Church working in Palestine. It contributes to securing a life of dignity for persons with intellectual disabilities (PwIDs) through rehabilitation and training, integration and inclusion, awareness building, and community mobilization based on love, dignity, justice, and equality.
The SMRC operations are guided by Commitment, Respect, Transparency, as well as Justice, and Equality.
Provide rehabilitation and training services to persons with intellectual disabilities irrespective of their disability level.
Raise the awareness of Palestinian family members, institutions, and policymakers, on the rights and capacities of persons with intellectual disabilities.
Through the Advocacy Committee and SMRC partners, bring about policy change, consistent with the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Palestinian Law.