On Monday, January 30th, 2017, The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF), The Pontifical Mission for Palestine (PMP), and The Applied Research Institute, Jerusalem (ARIJ) signed an agreement with nine community-based organizations to restore local community wells and implement sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions for their agricultural and development projects. The agreement ensures sustainability for the beneficiary organizations, who work with vulnerable communities throughout Palestine, including youth, children with special needs, orphans, and the elderly.
The agreement leverages the strengths of each organization: HCEF’s 13 years of experience in renovating homes, restoring water cisterns, and rehabilitating community structures; PMP’s ability to galvanize donors; and ARIJ’s expertise in building sustainable, environmentally conscious communities. HCEF, PMP and ARIJ are hopeful about the impact the collaboration will have on strengthening the beneficiaries’ crucial work in the community, while also reducing their carbon footprint.
HCEF President and CEO, Rateb Rabie, commented: “Today is an important day for all of us. Through this partnership, we express the importance of standing together to ensure that we, as Palestinians, continue to cultivate and develop our land and home.” Mr. Rabie highlighted the importance of collaborative partnerships in helping the Palestinian people to improve access to vital resources such as energy, water and food security.
Ms. Saloudi Faris, Representative of The Children of Creche, a home for orphaned children, commented on the impact the partnership will have on her organization, “This project will help us to lower the costs of running the orphanage…it will help us to improve our service delivery for a stronger community—to provide more responsive services to our children.”
Mr. Anton Dabdoub, a Board of Director for the Antonian Foundation, also commented on the partnership’s impact, noting “Through this agreement, ARIJ will provide our organization with solar power, which, especially in the winter, will save us over 10,000 NIS monthly, allowing us invest these funds into other projects. Additionally, HCEF will restore a large well that is in dire need of rehabilitation, which will help us to provide clean and safe water to our home for the elderly during the summer months when our needs are high and shortages are common.”
Dr. Jad Isaac, President of ARIJ, stated that although the support will not solve the larger problems confronted as a result of occupation, it will certainly ease the burdens these organizations face in delivering the services that the community has come to rely upon.