Jerusalem, Stones of Memory
Our objective is to safeguard the Christian presence within the Old City, in particular by addressing the housing emergency there and then guaranteeing a life with dignity to the families who for centuries have been living in the land of Jesus Christ.
Due to various factors (overpopulation, inadequate living conditions, social tensions, and poverty, the Christian minority in the Old City of Jerusalem is always feeling pressured to abandon its own home.
To support the neediest families, the Custody of the Holy Land rents out, at a nominal fee, 400 living units from among its properties in the Old City. Many of these, however, are dilapidated and unsanitary for living: constant upkeep and renovation is therefore required.
How we act
Thanks to the project, Jerusalem: Stones of Memory, a detailed plan has been established for the monitoring, relief, restoration and architectural preservation of residential and public units (including sanctuaries, convents, schools …) owned by the Custody of the Holy Land.
The plan, put into action by the most modern methods and technology of programming and intervention, provides for the following:
- Evaluation in order to determine which course of action is the most urgently needed, with the aim of reinforcing those housing units in danger of collapsing;
- Intervention in electrical and heating systems which are not working, inadequate sanitation systems, and homes most affected by moisture and humidity;
- The recuperation of spaces needing restoration which have fallen into disuse;
- The involvement of the local population, in a way that creates job opportunities for young architects, engineers, and laborers;
- The impact on the Christian community of the Old City.
The project, Jerusalem: Stones of Memory has had a direct impact on the lives of many Christian families which find themselves in situations of great economic difficulty, and contributes to safeguarding their presence in the Holy Land, in particular in the Old City.
The project forms part of a very broad program launched by the Custody of the Holy land with the aim of promoting and protecting the Holy Places. For further information, please consult the project’s website.
“…it is essential to give firm support and encouragement to those who choose to remain faithful to their homeland in order to prevent it from becoming an archaeological site deprived of ecclesial life. By developing a solid fraternal life, they will find support in their trials. I therefore give my full support to the initiatives you are taking to contribute to the creation of social and financial conditions that help the Christians who remain in their country, and I appeal to the entire Church to wholeheartedly support these efforts.”