Bethlehem: a new project for the production of protection masks

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Active Women Against Covid-19 is the name of the project financed by F.A.I. (Fondation Assistance Internationale) and implemented in Bethlehem by Pro Terra Sancta. The project in its initial phase aims to offer training and sewing work to six women in the Governorate of Bethlehem, starting with the production of protective masks for daily use. It should be emphasized that the precious support of F.A.I. arrives at a very difficult time here in the Holy Land as well; a closeness of the foundation that has allowed us to be as active as possible to deal with the emergency.

The women beneficiaries of the project were selected by involving the Pro Terra Sancta Association’s Listening Centre in Bethlehem and evaluating each individual situation. At present the economic situation in Bethlehem is very complicated: the absence of pilgrims and the consequent closure of business activities for the Covid-19 emergency is causing the number of people without work to grow.

The project responds to this need by making women the protagonists. We have collected some testimonies of some beneficiaries who this week started their first training meetings with the Fashion Designer Yazan Zeit from Beit Jala.

Sandra tells us that she can sew as a hobby and is “very curious and eager to learn how to do it” with the machine. “I imagine that through this training I will benefit greatly in the near future and – she continues – I am happy to support my family during this economic crisis caused by the pandemic”.

Offering a new possibility of training and income becomes an opportunity to actively integrate into society at this difficult time. We know that a closure like this could cause not only financial but also psychological problems for entire families.

Ghada also explains that, after spending two months lock-down in Bethlehem, she is now “very happy to undertake this new path together with the other girls” and hopes that “projects like this one in the future can help more and more people”.

At the end of the lessons, the women who participated in this project will have the opportunity to work part-time from home with the new machines purchased, starting the production of the first masks that will be distributed free of charge to some social and welfare works in Bethlehem.