|HCEF CEO & President, Sir Rateb Rabie, KCHS, and BSCC Elder Members|
HCEF is proud to employ over 20 life-giving programs, each one playing a special role in caring for people of the Holy Land. With every project HCEF undertakes, not only are we focused on fulfilling the needs of the intended direct beneficiaries, but also the needs of all those involved in the project. That is why each of our efforts to care for specific populations are also efforts in creating jobs across the board and building up the community as a whole. Two amazing examples of this are HCEF's Birzeit Senior Citizen Center (BSCC) and the Handicraft Workshop Development (HWD).
In honor of the Easter Season, please carry the cross with us and support these programs by donating online HERE
Birzeit Senior Citizen Center
|BSCC Elder Members and Nursing Students|
BSCC was established in 2005 by HCEF and partners. It is located in the heart of Birzeit, whose history drectly reflects the need for sucha center. Due to decades long oppression of Palestine, Birzeit's once self-sustainging economic and social framework has been severely damaged. The unemployment rate sits at around 60%, and this has driven skilled workers to immigrate seeking suitable opportunities outside of Palestine (65% of Birzeit's population lives in the Diaspora). Due to the same economic disparities that drove them to immigrate, these workers have been forced to leave family members behind and, in many cases, unable to send them aid. Without a stable family structure, the elderly suffer. HCEF has soutgh to counteract this instability and provide a place where the elderly of Birzeit can find solace and be connected to as well as celebrated by the community. They are direct links to the heritage of Palestine, and have courageously remained in their homeland, providing younger generations the opportunity to be educated and inspired.
BSCC offers social, recreational, educational, and medical services. In the images above, we can see the elders celebrating members' birthdays (left) and members working together to prepare a delicious meal (right). These services are directed toward preserving and enhancing the social, spiritual and physical well being of its nearly 40 elderly members from Birzeit and the surrounding villages. The Center benefits the entire town of Birzeit through its service opportunities for local groups and provides jobs for many families through the running of its activities and maintenance. The Center has persisted for the last 10 years as a positive and integrated part of the community, and there is a strong framework in place consisting of several committed partners.
Elders getting their regular check-ups
Elders at a home visit with a member
Handicraft Workshop Development
Through the HWD program, HCEF has renovated 4 handicraft workshops in the Bethlehem area, creating 255 job opportunities for 22 skilled and unskilled labors, and changing the lives of 31 direct beneficiaries and 102 indirect Beneficiaries
Due to the restrictions occupation and the general unrest in the region, the handicraft industry has been in a steady decline. Craft workers struggle just to sustain their businesses, let alone maintain healthy and safe work environments. And not only are workers affected by pollutants from their work, but also families living nearby the workshops. Everyone is at risk for contracting respiratory illnesses, including lung cancer. But this doesn't have to be the case.
By renovating workshops, HCEF creates a sense of pride in the workers and attract new generations to the craft, allowing Palestinians to sustain and revitalize their handicraft tradition. These workers can now work in safe, healthy environments without fear of long term health risks, and this also leads to high productivity and better quality products. And parents in the surrounding neighborhoods can breathe easy knowing their children can play outside in clean, fresh air.
Additionally, Palestine is able to maintain an essential aspect of its economic viability since olive wood and mother of pearl production are unique to the area, attracting local and international buyers alike.
In partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the Holy Land Handicraft Cooperative Society (HLHCS), HCEF is creating jobs and preserving Palestinian culture for generations to come.
Check more "before and after" photos HERE
Please help HCEF sustain these life-giving programs by donating online HERE
HCEF is proud to announce they have received a 4-star rating
from the nation's largest and most-utilized evaluator of
charities for 3 years in row, placing HCEF in the
top 12% of charities in the country.