Birzeit Senior Citizen Center (BSCC)
April, May & June 2013
BIRZEIT SENIOR CITIZEN CENTER
In 2005, The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation established the Birzeit Senior Citizen Center (BSCC) in partnership with the Presbyterian Church, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Birzeit Latin Parish, the Pontifical Mission of Jerusalem and Caritas Jerusalem.
The objective of BSCC is to support the social outreach work of HCEF in cooperation with the local churches and to also outreach to all senior citizens in the town. Membership to the center is extended to all, regardless of income, gender, or social status. BSCC also works to bring all ages in the community together and nurture a spirit of care for others in the younger generation.
QUARTERLY OVERVIEW & STATISTICS
During April, May and June of 2013, the Birzeit Senior Citizen Center maintained 25-35 senior citizens who attended the center on a daily basis, averaging 1040 visits. The Center was open for 39 days during April, May and June. During these months, the Center continued to promote healthy living conditions and offer day care services including nutrition, medical care, and other social and cultural support services.
BSCC in Operational Statistics for April, May & June 2013
- Transportation Services
The Center provides free transportation services for the elderly to and from the Center. The free transportation service is also provided for taking the seniors to and from churches on Sundays if needed.
- Nutritionist Meals
The Center provides daily hot meals for the elderly through the support of the World Food Program and other local organizations. The BSCC provided 1040 hot meals in April, May and June. Snacks are provided in the morning.
- Medical Services
BSCC’s medical services and support save the elderly time and helps them eliminate the burden of having to travel when they are not feeling well or are in need of a simple check-up. Services are provided through the volunteer support of the Birzeit Nursing College, the Medical Relief Society, and the Birzeit Women’s Charitable Society.
Medical services include the following: general examinations, blood pressure screenings, ear and eye examinations, nutrition sessions, weight monitoring, diabetes check-ups, blood oxygen level tests, and mental health counseling. Health records are kept in order to monitor the progress of each senior citizen.
EVENTS & ACTIVITIES
Well-known for its effective and on-going activities that focus on the support and health of the senior citizen members, BSCC organizes and hosts numerous activities throughout the year.
Priests from the Latin Parish of Birzeit make monthly visits to the center to conduct fellowship, perform prayers of intercession, and read the Bible with the elderly.
- Monthly Birthday Celebrations
Once a month, BSCC takes the time to honor the birthdays of the elders for that month.
- Networking & Official Meetings
A meeting was held with the Ministry of Social Affairs in the presence of its minister Dr. Magda al-Masri and the CEO of HCEF, Mr. Rateb Rabie, Eng. Anthony Habash, HCEF Regional Director, and Ms. Jamile Aranki, HCEF Representative in Birzeit. The meeting was held in order to promote cooperation and communication between the two organizations. Dr. al-Masri and Mr. Rabie discussed many important topics, including HCEF’s role in the Holy Land regarding its national and community programs. They also discussed the ways in which the Ministry and HCEF could cooperate through joint programs and strengthen support for BSCC.
Mr. Rateb Rabie, Eng. Anthony Habash, and Ms. Jamile Aranki also met with the mayor of Birzeit, Mr. Hasib Kaileh, to discuss possible ways of strengthening the relationship between the municipality and BSCC. Finally, Mr. Rabie also met with Father Louise Hazboun, Parish Priest of the Latin Convent in Birzeit.
- Visit from Jerusalem Open University Students
Students from Jerusalem Open University, in cooperation with the Birzeit Women’s Charitable Society visited BSCC. The students provided the elderly an atmosphere full of joy! They also engaged the elderly with many question about how their lives. The students were so happy to listen to them and expressed their desire to continue making trips to the Center.
- Interactive Meetings for the Elderly
BSCC organized an interactive meeting for the elderly. They were joined by Mr. Rateb Rabie, Rev. David Renwick, Senior Pastor, National Presbyterian Church, USA, Father Louise Hazboun, Mr. Hasib Keileh, and Eng. Anthony Habash, as well as many other officials and representatives from the city of Birzeit. The meeting aimed to promote and support the Center’s development.
- HCEF St. Paul’s Visit to BSCC
BSCC hosted the “Living Stones” Pilgrimage for St. Paul’s and St. Eulalie’s Parishes of Boston, Massachusetts. During St. Paul’s visit to Birzeit, the pilgrims were greeted and embraced by the local Christian community. Later that day the pilgrims had lunch with the delightful senior citizens at the Center.
Many Christian Palestinian families in Birzeit and Jifna eagerly and warmly opened their homes to take in pilgrims for the night. This gave the pilgrims invaluable time to break bread with the Christian Palestinians and experience their exceptional hospitality. Truly this is one of the most effective and heart-warming aspects of participating in a Living Stones Pilgrimage.
- BSCC Trip to Nablus
BSCC is well known for its continuous and effective activities that promote the overall wellbeing of its elder members. These activities included an entertaining and educational trip to the city of Nablus.
- Participate in Palestinian Wedding in Birzeit
BSCC participated in a Palestinian wedding during the 26th Annual Heritage Week in Birzeit, which is organized by the Rozana Association, and is one of the main ways BSCC interacts with the local community. There was an exceptional turn-out of elderly members from the Center for the traditional wedding, who take part in initiating the wedding activities. Afterwards they walked through the Old City in celebration.
- Know Thy Heritage Welcoming Ceremony
The members of the Center participate in many of HCEF’s other community activities and programs, which includes the Know thy Heritage Delegation Welcoming Ceremony in Bethlehem.