Our Home: sharing to remain in the place where we were all born

Palestine/Bethlehem

CONTEXT & OBJECTIVE

The “Our home” project is an initiative aimed at preserving the Christian presence in the place where the Word was made flesh and at strengthening ties between the Eastern and Western communities.

With the contributions collected, we promote the recovery of abandoned homes in the historic center of Bethlehem, near the Basilica of the Nativity. Some of these properties have been bought and are owned by the Custody of the Holy Land; part of them have then been assigned to poor families after being reassessed. In other cases the restored environments are used to launch socio-entrepreneurial activities, aimed at welcoming pilgrims, offering them the opportunity of life experiences with the local community, or to open handcraft shops. The local population is also involved in the restoration works. 

The renovation process also includes installation of water tanks on rooftops to counteract water shortage.

Activities

  • Recovery of historical heritage and ancient structures of the historic center
  • Restoration works through involvement of local workers
  • Training of artisans (mosaic, ceramics, food products, …)
  • Start-up, promotion and management of social entrepreneurial activities
  • Promotion of experiential travel and training courses in the tourism sector

BENEFICIARIES

  • The poor families of Bethlehem
  • Workers and craftsmen
  • Pilgrims and visitors

A new home for Suzi and Lina

A joint action between Association pro Terra Sancta and the Pontifical Mission, a Christian organization founded by Pope Pius XII in 1949 in support of Palestinian needy families, seeks to remedy this disastrous situation. Thanks to this project, around 10-12 homes are renovated each year in the area of ​​Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour. Each question is examined by experts to understand the seriousness of the problem: after the checks by Muna Salman, project manager and head of the technical department of Association pro Terra Sancta in Bethlehem, the family has a meeting with the Association’s social worker of the Nadia Nasser to assess the economic and social situation. When the project is approved, the family is asked to make a small contribution to the expenses for greater responsibility. In a few weeks, the jobs that often include the rebuilding of the ceiling, the waterproofing of the rooms, and the painting take place, but every case is different.

 

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We went with Muna to visit some ongoing projects and talk to several people who have benefited from the renovations. “My husband and I could not afford these works, I am a housewife and he works as a school janitor, for years we lived with water dripping from the ceiling in the kitchen and in the bedroom,” Lina tells us. The workers are finishing the last finishes before handing over the house as a new one and Lina can only say that she is happy to know that this year she will be able to invite all her married daughters to the Sunday lunch in her renovated kitchen. There is Suzi, mother of two a 5 and a 6 years old children, that with eyes full of gratitude tells us: “I no longer have to be ashamed of having guests at home. Moreover, the most important thing is that I have finally solved my children’s asthma problem caused by the damp and unhealthy environment”. George and Bassam, jumping on the bed, proudly show us their new blue-painted room.

You can donate by BANK TRANSFER through your bank account and give your support to:
ASSOCIAZIONE PRO TERRA SANCTA
Banca Popolare Etica
IBAN: IT 56 R 05018 12101 000014400444
BIC CODE: CCRTIT2T84A

For American donors ONLY
If you wish to donate a minimum of $500 (with possibility of tax deduction) please contact info@proterrasancta.org BEFORE making the donation.

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