May 2018

Education in Bethlehem: story of Jameela and Reem

Jameela and Reem are two 15-year-old cousins ​​who have been attending the Saint Joseph School for Girls, not far from the historic center of Bethlehem. Jameela and Reem are just two of the 238 girls in this institution who are helped with the fee, thanks to the support of ATS pro Terra Sancta through the sponsorship funds. Like many other peers of the city where Jesus was born, they experience a strong family unease (alcohol, domestic violence, drugs, divorce, unemployment). For this reason they need a constant help both for education and to live in decent life.

The story of these two girls, who dream of becoming a lawyer and a doctor, is in fact linked to an angel who protects them. Their angel is named Sister Stephany, the director of the Home of Peace in Bethlehem, a welcoming structure that houses 29 Palestinian boys orphaned and with serious family problems, right on the border between the territories. She has been in the Holy Land for 19 years, together with two other Sisters of St. Elizabeth, every day she welcomes her children as a mother when they return from school. “The important thing is to provide everything necessary to make them feel at home” the sister tells us, not just meals and a bed, but also an additional school assistance through four teachers and some volunteers to which is added a daily spiritual and psychological help. “For me – she adds – it is essential to understand what they really want for their future”.

Thanks to the help they receive, these students can study.  Some of them, having finished the Terra Sancta School or Saint Joseph School, attend the university in Poland or others have already started a family.

So Sister Stephany is not only a mother but also a “grandmother” for these guys. Families are often invited to participate in the activities of this small institution or come to ask and receive advice. “Education is very important and not only learned from books but also in the family”, concludes the mother, so it is favorable for children to meet with their parents, since “sometimes it happens that, even with the help of God, some big problems are solved “.

The education and care of these sisters allows these young people to live, like Jameela and Reem, in their difficult land as in a Peace House as the Holy Land should be.

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