April 2013

“Jerusalem, Stones of Memory” and Feras’ story

Issa and Nahla, an elderly couple who share their home with the youngest of their five children, Feras, live in an apartment just a few steps from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Feras lost a leg in an accident and is no longer able to work. As a result the famous faces serious economic problems, and the apartment in which they are living is in very poor condition. The apartment needs to be renovated, especially with regard to the walls which are subject to infiltration of moisture from the outside, posing a health risk for Issa, Nahla and Feras.

The story of this family is just one among those of the Christian community living in the Old City of Jerusalem, who continue to live in situations of serious hardship, notably due to the high density of population, the lack of maintenance of common facilities and the absence of basic sanitary and health services. Numerous groups and nuclear families are currently living in a state of severe neglect and poverty, and such unfavorable conditions also lead to situations of social instability, increasing the risks linked to consumption and trafficking of drugs and organized crime, above all for the youngest and most vulnerable.

Through the project “Jerusalem, Stones of Memory”, ATS pro Terra Sancta is seeking to respond to the concrete needs of numerous families for decent housing in their own land, representing a very real humanitarian and housing emergency. The goal is also to provide, at the same time, an improved appearance to this city which is considered by all to be the center of the world.

Some concrete examples of the costs required for carrying out the interventions, always keeping in mind that each individual project has its own particular features and specific construction and logistical requirements: €6 for a sack of cement; €40 for a faucet for a sink; €50 for one worker for one day; €60 for 10m2 of tile; €270/m2 for renovations in structures of relatively recent construction (reinforced concrete and cinder blocks); €370/m2 for renovations in older structures (in stone with vaulted roofs); and €2,500 for renovating the sanitary installations in an apartment.

The project will also permit a steadily increasing participation by the local population, notably in terms of training local workers under the coordination of the Custody of the Holy Land’s Technical Office. Technicians will in fact work side by side with experts, with the aim of both creating short-term employment and investing in the future: the training of new specialized workers will lead to the creation of a veritable wealth of experience and knowledge that can be reutilized in future projects.

For further information on the project: www.jerusalemstonesofmemory.org

To make a donation in support of the families of the Old City of Jerusalem: GIVE NOW!

share facebook twitter google pinterest print send
related stories

Supporting the Christian presence in the Old City of Jerusalem: a building restored (April 2015)

Video: Life in the Old City of Jerusalem (April 2015)

“What have I accomplished here?”: the testimony of Alice, a volunteer in Jerusalem (January 2015)

Inauguration of the new Monastery of St. Francis ad Coenaculum (October 2014)

New work for the team of workers in the Old City of Jerusalem: the mission of the Custody of the Holy Land is renewed as a sign of continuity (September 2014)

Our House in Jerusalem and Bethlehem (July 2014)

Four new apartments have been finished for the Arab Christian community in Jerusalem: The Living Stones of Memory (June 2014)

“I want to live here where Jesus lived: the Christian voices of the Old City of Jerusalem (June 2014)

A new look for the Church chancel and vestry at Bethphage Sanctuary (May 2014)

St John’s Sanctuary in Ain Karen: work to build a new welcome room for pilgrims (April 2014)

Claudia Koll supports ATS pro Terra Sancta with the Living Stones of Jerusalem project (January 2014)

The story of Peter and Farida: helping a family means helping the small Christian community in Jerusalem (October 2013)

A month in the Old City of Jerusalem helping Christian families: “a unique experience” (August 2013)

The project “Housing and Social Emergency in the Old City of Jerusalem” comes to an end: here are the results (July 2013)

The workers on the project “Jerusalem, Stones of Memory” in action in Nazareth (July 2013)

Holy Sepulchre: Extraordinary maintenance work at the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament (March 2013)

A little present from Marseilles for the families at the Christian quarter in Jerusalem (February 2013)

The St. Francis Ad Coenaculum monastery reopens to pilgrims (February 2013)

Jerusalem, Stones of Memory (November 2012)

The experiences of Christians in Jerusalem told in Rovigo (October 2012)