CONTEXT & OBJECTIVE
The Associationpro Terra Sancta wishes to contribute to improving the economic and cultural living conditions of the Palestinian population. The project aims to recover and enhance an abandoned and degraded building in the ancient city of Bethlehem a few steps from the Church of the Nativity to start the “Dar Al-Majus -Community Home” center. This reality has the purpose of improving the services of protection of young people and women in a context such as that of the Bethlehem Governorate where permanent conflict and limited freedom of movement generate a precarious economic situation and a climate of social tension. This leads to an increase in the unemployment rate and to having a third of the population suffering from psychosocial discomfort. In particular, young people and women are the most vulnerable as they rarely benefit from fair access to employment opportunities, and for this reason they remain on the margins of society and without a real perspective on the future. To answer this problem, Dar Al Majus is born as a space for meeting and concrete support. The project aims to create a place where each person will be welcomed and followed closely within the center, divided into three support areas:
- Listening and support area where expert social workers offer listening services, psychological support and orientation to young people.
- Professional training and work assistance area where guidance and work support is offered and a coworking spacefor young people wishing to start a new business.
- Cultural center area where cultural activities are promoted with the aim of awakening creativity in the youngest and making them aware of their historical and cultural heritage.
The center therefore wants to be a point of novelty within society, the victim of a long conflict that is still ongoing, proposing a center open to the entire local community without distinction of religion, ethnicity, sex and age.
Restructuring and construction of the center
Listening, orientation and psychological support for young people
Training courses for artisans and music therapy for operators and social workers.
Teaching foreign languages
Cultural activities and historical-artistic formative itineraries with beauty in the center.
Orientation and accompaniment to work and support to young people with small activities in the field of services and development of innovation.
People involved in the renovation of the center
Young people in difficulty with study and job search
Young people and women who use the coworking space and business development services
Educators, social workers, artisans participating in training courses
Boys involved in cultural activities
Dar Majus Community home
We asked Vincenzo Bellomo, responsible for the projects of the Association pro Terra Sancta in Bethlehem, to tell us something about Dar al Majus Community Home. Vincenzo is living in Bethlehem since 13 years and is one of the main promoters of the project. “For me personally – he says – it is above all a dream come true and a 13-year commitment in Bethlehem. An unexpected gift for its beauty and grandeur, which Providence wanted to make to the community of Bethlehem, so tried by tensions. For years we have been trying to give shape to a place that could respond to the needs of the community, where to gather in a single place the many activities we carry out, encourage dialogue between those who remained and at the same time could show those who visited it ( pilgrims in particular) the face of this city through our passionate commitment and life “. Dar Al Majus in Arabic means “the House of the Magi”, the first “foreigners” who traveled to meet the embodied Salvation. “The Magi – he continues – came from afar, physically but also culturally, and allowed themselves to be transformed. From them we want to recover the beauty of traveling, the journey together towards hope, but also the beauty of the journey of those who come here. Then there is the concept of the gift, the gift of self, the sharing and the announcement of the beauty of the Christian fact that happened here, took human form “.
The center will therefore be a place of welcome and meeting, designed for the Bethlehem community, but also for visiting pilgrims. It will be structured on two floors, on the ground floor there will be a space dedicated to cultural and meeting initiatives, with the aim of telling the story of the Nativity, but also of coexistence and the beauty of the Christian announcement guarded by the living communities. It will be open to all and will allow pilgrims visiting the Basilica of the Nativity to enter even more into this reality. At the same time, the inhabitants of Bethlehem will be able to become more aware of their history and realize the enormous heritage of which they are custodians. “For the same reason – says Vincenzo – on the first floor, after this cultural part, there will be spaces dedicated to work, and especially to the training and support of young people, women and those who are disadvantaged. There will be co-working areas, counseling for job orientation, but also places for listening and psychological support, training spaces and many other cultural activities ”.
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ASSOCIAZIONE PRO TERRA SANCTA
Banca Popolare Etica
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