Special projects are designed to be responsive to the ever-changing needs of the Christian community in the Holy Land. As the social, political, and economic milieu of the region is always in flux, we are often in the position of patterning a response to meet the unique needs of a given community and situation. By raising funds for Job Creation, Housing Projects, Community Development, and Micro and Macro Enterprise Development Programs, American Christians can help Holy Land Christians to develop long-term solutions to their economic crises.
· Emergency Job Creation
Rather than engendering dependency through handouts to relieve deplorable living conditions, HCEF supports “emergency job creation.” It is an alternative whereby unemployed or underemployed residents receive financial benefit while contributing their skills for the benefit of the community. Projects have included construction and restoration works but could target any social or development need.
· Housing Projects
Lack of housing has been identified as one of the most significant reasons that Christians emigrate. Palestinian Christians are denied permits to renovate their existing houses or to build new houses. Thus, newly married couples or growing families feel forced to leave the area simply because they cannot find a place to live. HCEF is engaged in housing projects in Birzeit, where it supports 46 housing units. It is also supporting construction works in Beit Jala, where homes have been badly damaged due to shelling by Israeli military forces.
· Emergency Relief Funds
In some cases, when churches request it or a donor specially designates money, we provide emergency relief funds. These funds are always dispensed through the local churches and are usually dispensed as a salary for a local person who has become unemployed.
· Community Development Programs
In seeking to ameliorate living conditions, HCEF, with the cooperation of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, supports numerous community development initiatives. We support such projects as: establishment of community hospitals, clinics, mental health centers, and recreational centers; establishment of K-12 schools and colleges in Israel, Palestine, and Jordan; infrastructure projects related to restoration and renovation of buildings, schools, and other establishments; adult education and vocational training programs; and land reclamation and rehabilitation projects.
· Micro and Macro Enterprise Development Programs
We facilitate interaction and provide business opportunities for Christians in the US to invest in the Holy Land in the areas of tourism, agriculture, light manufacturing, and other service industries. We help American business people strike the balance that allows them to have a successful business venture while helping others.