June 2015

The wedding list? a special donation for Bethlehem

Maurizio and Valentina wanted their wedding to be a donation for those who need it most. They got married by the Franciscan friars in front of a big crowd,and they asked their guests to show generosity in order to share providence with those most in need. That’s why they chose to create a very special wedding list: last April they collected the gifts given by friends and family and headed for the Holy Land. They had already been there before, but this time they went there, not just to pray, but mainly to share their time with the living stones of this land.

A month after their trip, and thanks to their special donations, the Association pro Terra Sancta has finished three projects involved in three different and important realities in Bethlehem: the kindergarten of the Franciscan nuns at the Aida refugee camp, the shelter home for disabled children Hogar Niño Dios, and the day centre for elderly people of the Antonian Society.

The kindergarten inside the Aida refugee camp accommodates both children who live inside the camp and children who arrive from Beit Jala, Beit Sahour and Doha, places near Bethlehem. The situation inside the camp is very complicated and the children often live in very poor and problematic families. Therefore, the Franciscan nuns have created a little oasis in which the little ones can play, be together and grow up in a calm environment. Thanks to Maurizio and Valentina’s donation, the nuns in the kindergarten have managed to buy different games: a slide for the garden, a little house and pools full of balls for the indoor playroom. Despite the separation wall between Israel and the West Bank being just opposite the enclosure of the kindergarten, the children seem not to realise, and get very excited about the good weather and the new games.

At the Hogar Niño Dios, essential goods are usually what is needed. The shelter accommodates twenty-four children with different disabilities and the nuns who manage the house have decided to use all the money received to purchase clothes, medicines, food and notepads.

Lastly, the part of the donation, which went to the Antonian Charitable Society, has been used to build a platform that helps the elderly people who use wheelchairs to go up and down the stairs in order to participate in the activities held three times a week at the day centre. Furthermore, in view of the arrival of good weather, we have thought about getting outdoor tables and chairs to allow the users of the centre to sit outside in the open air and carry out their activities in the garden and at the veranda.

The decision to support the above operations fits with the desire to help the most vulnerable. In the complex context of the Palestinian territories, where the population lives in a state of everlasting tension, it is key to care for the elderly, who represent the past and the traditions of this place, and guarantee training and education for young people, who represent the biggest hope for a future of change. The donation that Maurizio and Valentina have made to the shelter, the Hogar and the Day Centre of the Antonian Society represents a very special and unforgettable gift, for which we can only be grateful, but what is even more special is the fact that they wanted to meet first-hand the children and elderly people of a city of Bethlehem that too often keeps being forgotten.

Maurizio and Valentina, with their choice, have not only had a gesture of solidarity towards those that are most needful, but they have also made a strong statement of closeness and encouragement to those who work on the field, both members and non members of religious orders, who everyday fight the challenges of a mission in a land that is desperately looking for peace and hope.

You can also help the Association pro Terra Sancta to support the work of many charitable projects carried out in Bethlehem. We can also organise, if you wish, a special visit focused on getting to know these projects, so that you can see first-hand the problems and needs of this land. Contact visit@proterrasancta.org to organise a trip to get to know the projects.


share facebook twitter google pinterest print send
related stories

In Bethlehem, where the mosaic becomes a school (July 2019)

A lovely place to stay: the great experience of the Dar Al Majus Guesthouse in Bethlehem (April 2019)

Christmas in Bethlehem: little signs of a great hope (December 2017)

Meet me in the sound, through music. The Music Therapy course in Bethlehem (August 2017)

A lesson with the Arab Institute of Bethlehem: “It’s not enough to know each other and respect each other, but it’s necessary to valorize the other too” (February 2017)

With the Italian Episcopal Conference in schools to reduce violence among teens in Bethlehem (November 2016)

The assistance to the Living Stones in Bethlehem continues: the Foundation François d’Assise in support of the needy (November 2016)

“The desire of water”: a real help to the families in Bethlehem (September 2016)

“You will find me in the sound”, music therapy in Bethlehem (September 2016)

“Let’s stay together!” Summertime in Bethlehem, an occasion to play and grow together (July 2016)

World Day of the Sick: Nazareth is tinged with hope (February 2016)

Jamila from Bethlehem, a grandmother in need (January 2016)

The Custos’ visit to communities in Bethlehem (January 2016)

For Christmas, give Hania new braces for her legs (December 2015)

Meet the family of Mariam, a child from Bethlehem (November 2015)

“We were all born here”: a documentary on the elderly protagonists of the story of Bethlehem (November 2015)

This Christmas give a new hope to Bethlehem (November 2015)

Personalities of the month: interview with Sister Lisi and Sister Caterina of the Antonian Society of Bethlehem (November 2015)

Meet the children of the School Support program in Bethlehem (October 2015)

The friars of Liguria are supporting two important social and charitable works in Bethlehem (October 2015)