Jamila lives in the center of the old city of Bethlehem. She has to perch the ladder that leads to a sunny courtyard to reach her home. Her house is poor, but dignified. She has six children, among them five daughters. They are all married, only her 30-year-old son still lives with her. To this day she has 14 grandchildren!
She became a widow quite young, and she has to sustain herself alone. Her children can barely feed their own families. In Palestine there is no old-age pension, nor social welfare. Poor old people have to help themselves if their families cannot support them. In such cases the Franciscan intervention looks like providence.
The same thing goes public health care – it does not exist. Last year Jamila had cancer, and only thanks to the support of the Franciscan Social Services Office in Bethlehem, she could undergo a major operation. Right now, she has to start a chemotherapy in Nablus. But in order to afford this therapy she needs help.
The Franciscan Office in Bethlehem needs donations to help Jamila and other elderly like her, who cannot afford healthcare.
As Papa Francesco says, “A world that doesn’t take care of grandparents is a world that doesn’t have future! Because such a world is losing its memory”.
Help the poor elderly in Bethlehem, memory of the Holy Place where Jesus was born. They have nothing but the mercy of the Franciscans and the support of the volunteers.