September 2017

Summer Camp in Bethany: design activities to regain identity

Among the various scourges that afflict the part of the world known as Holy Land, there is also the identity crisis. Among young people especially, the research for an identity often leads to violent deviations, or simply to resignation. For this reason, as an alternative, the activities aimed at educating children to a greater awareness of their own history and heritage are of the utmost importance.

An example of this kind of education is the Summer Camp for Children and Girls organized by Mosaic Center and  the Association pro Terra Sancta in collaboration with the Bethany Youth Club, titled “Our Cultural Heritage is our Identity”.

The aim: the rediscovery of the cultural heritage of Bethany for the children, and the opportunity to express their creativity through various pictorial and musive techniques. By the end of August, around 60 children and girls between the ages of 7 and 14 learned drawing and painting techniques from different local painters, such as making small mosaic tiles and putting them together to create a picture, how to transfer what they see in reality on a sheet of paper. They also had the chance to visit the archaeological site of the tomb of Lazarus and the most important historical attractions in the area, discovering a little treasure that for many of them was still unknown.

The result was a small exhibition presented at the final event of the Summer Camp a few days ago. In this way, the guests were able to admire all the works produced, from shadow studies and perspective to the little finished mosaics, to the various representations of the Franciscan monastery of Bethany on paper.

Among the people that were invited, besides all the children who participated in the activities together with their families, there were also local authorities. “I am impressed by the success of the initiative, it is important to plant small seeds in new generations as we are doing with these activities, and to grow them well for a better future,” said the Mayor of Betania Isam Faroun during the event. “It was very challenging and interesting, we learned how to make mosaics and new ways to draw, I met new friends I had never seen before, and we have learned a lot about what and what is cultural heritage is our identity!” explained Safa’a Nassim, one of the small participants in the Summer Camp.

For this reason, “it does not end here,” says Carla Benelli responsible for Cultural Projects for Association pro Terra Sancta, “this year the course funded by Misereor was really a great success. In the future, thanks to the support of the Italian Development Cooperation Agency there will still be 3 years of other activities! “.

Discover more about the project in Bethany!

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