Each day Palestinian Christians struggle for their existence in the Holy Land, but that would not be an excuse for neglecting our elders, such as our parents and grand parents.
Each day Palestinian Christians struggle for their existence in the Holy Land, but that would not be an excuse for neglecting our elders, such as our parents and grand parents. Our elders have made many sacrifices for us, and it is our privilege to care and provide for them now. Father Anton Buzo Birzeit Senior Citizen Center, established more than three years ago, serves approximately 60 elders in Birzeit. The mission of HCEF is to contribute to the lives of those who preserved our society and built our communities.
Sulima Zabaneh, BSCC Director and HCEF Representative in the Ramallah region said, “The center plays an important role in Birzeit, and is considered to be one of the most active community centers.” Providing day care for the elders is much more than just a service; it adds value to their days and their lives. Special attention is given to each elder’s health concerns and they are encouraged to interact in activities such as sports, dance, folklore productions, and many others. With plenty to do and special attention, the elders feel useful, and needed, thus creating an atmosphere of hope and a sense of belonging. The care and love found in the center would inspire any anyone, giving them a sense of belonging too. Through HCEF’s partnership with the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC and the Birzeit Society-USA, the center is able to employ seven people. Volunteers from the Women’s Society, headed by Mrs. Jamileh Aranki, and St. Vincent Society, represented by Mr. Khalil Sayej also provide immeasurable assistance in operating the center.
BSCC is always looking for ways to reach out to more seniors. We also seek to recognize those who have contributed their skills and talents to their society by nominating them as honorary members of our center. Honorary members receive recognition as contributors to and members of the center. BSCC started this membership with over than 40 honorary members and we celebrated them in a reception held at the center on Friday, May 11, 2005. The Honorary Members were amazed with the impact on the life of the seniors, especially those who had been living in social isolation, but were now feeling accepted and part of a big family. Their interest was peaked and their commitment to support the center solidified. The Honorary members include Fr. Aziz Halaweh – the Latin Parish Priest, Fr. Issa Khoury – the Orthodox Parish priest, Dr. Johar Sayej, Dr. Johnny Khoury, Mr. Nicola Nasser, Mr. Anton Saad, Dr. Jacob Ziadeh, Mr. Haseeb Kaileh, Mr. Audeh Mussallam, Mr. Munir Zahran and many others.
Even with this strong show of support, the center remains in continuous need. Support from the local and international community is critical to the sustenance of BSCC, especially since this sector does not give support and recognition to this concern. Therefore, at 8:00 P.M. on May 8, 2008, HCEF will hold a fundraising event to benefit the Birzeit Senior Citizen Center.
We also need your support. An annual donation of $500, or $250 bi-annually would sponsor one senior citizen for the year.
For more information on the BSCC, please click here.