TALES OF PEACE: In Bethlehem, in the Children’s House where the children learn to love.
It is not easy to be young in Bethlehem. Amir knows this and this is why the Children’s Home in Bethlehem works: “These children live in a very dramatic state, most of them have a very complicated situation at home, they are often victims of domestic violence.” These are the words of Amir, the secretary of the Children’s Home, an association that aims to give a safe place to stay for dozens of Bethleheme children. Because what they need most of all is a place that can be home. To be a young man with such a situation in Bethlehem is to be safe neither in one’s own land nor in one’s own home.
Amir is surrounded by his boys as he recounts his experience as secretary of the Children’s Home, a position he has held since the foundation of the association in 2007. In the house, the children are certainly followed from a scholastic point of view, and in fact Pro Terra Sancta collaborates with the House through a series of language projects, in which the volunteers of our association hold Spanish and Italian courses for the children, which should guarantee them a better working future. But it is not only the scholastic aspect that the Casa del Fanciullo deals with, on the contrary, Amir tells us that the most important thing is to give these children the tools to be able to build their own identity, despite the condition in which they find themselves. “We are certain that each of them has something to give to society and to the world, but to do so each of them needs to discover who they are, we can show them the way to discover it, but they are the ones who must decide to follow it. It’s difficult and you have to be very patient, but first of all you have to remember that these kids need to be loved and respected, only in this way can they find the security that they don’t have either in their home or in their land.” And it is only through this good that these young people can get out of the spiral of violence that they live in their family context and in their land, only with an im good like this can peace be born in their lives and in the context in which they live.
And this is precisely the most important thing that the Children’s House gives with these children: it gives them a home and a safe place where they can discover who they are, and often the good is no longer forgotten. Amir tells us the story of Amjad, one of the first boys the center took in in 2007. Rescued from a very difficult family situation, Amjad initially arrived at the center and did not speak to anyone, completely closed in on himself, as if frightened and frightened by everything around him. “The hardest part was making him understand that he was in a space where he was looked at and loved for who he was, it’s always the hardest part with these guys. They have internalized suspicion and distrust.” But little by little, the relationship with the educators of the center allowed this boy to accept his story and open up, and from there everything changed. Amjad turned out to be an excellent student and after finishing his course at the Children’s House he decided to enroll at the University of Bethlehem, graduating in Mathematics and Physics and later becoming a professor. To this day, Amjad remains tied to the House and every day he works as a volunteer with the children of the institute that has allowed him to become the person he is today, bringing the same good that he has received to other young people who live the same situation that he also experienced and building a future of peace in their lives. Showing that, even in this difficult land, the good received is not forgotten.