In the Manger Square, many workers from the municipality of Bethlehem are taking care of dismantling the last Christmas lights. Even the Orthodox Christmas and the Armenian Christmas, which fall respectively 13 and 21 days after the Catholic one, have now passed and it is time to leave the holidays behind.
But even when the spotlights around the world stop looking at the city where Jesus was born, Bethlehem does not stop needing. For Associazione pro Terra Sancta it is time for budgets and evaluations of the activities carried out in the past year and the start of new projects.
Associazione pro Terra Sancta intervenes on several fronts. The reasons for the great unease and difficulties in which the Bethlehem society, and in general the whole population of the Palestinian Territories, find themselves are: the water emergency, health and economic poverty dictated by the political situation.
In 2019 alone, 36 houses were equipped with tanks to contain water reserves in times of shortage. The water problem in Bethlehem is serious: over the course of a month, running water can be lacking in homes for 10 to 15 days. Outdated hydraulic systems and control of the main water sources also create significant inconvenience.
Thanks to the Clean Water project, 113 people benefited from running water and better sanitary conditions. Conditions improved also thanks to the house renovation project that provided new homes to 34 families who were forced to live in dilapidated and disastrous buildings and without the economic opportunity to make improvements. The latter renovation of houses and premises is part of the larger Association pro Terra Sancta project which aims to recover old buildings both to make them habitable, and to create local socio-entrepreneurial activities or create spaces for sharing and supporting the population. , such as the new Dar al Majus Community Home cultural center, in the planning stage.
Then there is medical and health care which is the second point in which the association’s greatest efforts have been concentrated and the greatest results have been achieved because in Bethlehem there is no real health care service provided by the government. 1,120 people have benefited from the social assistance services provided by the Association pro Terra Sancta project, 859 of whom are children. In addition to the supply of medicines, the people we assisted were also able to undergo important and costly operations.
Without the help of the many friends and supporters and the numerous partners of the pro Terra Sancta Association, none of this would have been possible. However, the challenges are still many and we are preparing to face them in every possible way, to support the people who live where Hope was born.