Bethlehem, Palestine – On Tuesday, May 2nd, the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) signed an agreement with its longtime partner, the Pontifical Mission for Palestine (PMP) to launch four new community development projects throughout Palestine. The projects will provide much needed support to Christian community organizations working for the greater good of the local community. Renovation projects will include:
St. Anne’s Convent in Bethlehem, where four additional dorm rooms will be built to host young women studying at Bethlehem University. For many young women who live in outlying areas, a long journey to university can put a higher education out of reach since it is not yet socially acceptable for young women to live alone away from home. The additional bedrooms will offer safe room and board to an additional 6 young women, allowing them complete their university education.
Another project will support the Latin Patriarchate’s Christ the King Bookstore in Jerusalem. Christ the King is the largest Christian bookstore in Palestine/Israel, supplying spiritual texts, gifts and accessories to the minority Christian community. HCEF will renovate a gallery area in the bookstore for the sale of church supplies. Until now, clergy and laypeople have had to travel long distances to purchase these items or ship them from abroad, adding significant cost. Proceeds from the bookstore benefit local churches and community youth groups.
A third project will support the Arab Women’s Union in Beit Sahour, which cares for Bethlehem area’s special needs community, working toward full social integration for their 33 members through work and community development programs. HCEF will renovate AWU’s center to create a multipurpose hall and bathroom facilities for their activities.
Lastly, PMP will support HCEF to renovate its Birzeit Senior Citizen Center’s (BSCC) kitchen. The kitchen currently serves hot meals to elders, many of whom are living in isolation. In addition to serving hot meals, the center also provides elders in need with free healthcare, transportation services, recreational activities, social events, spiritual development and, most importantly, Christian fellowship.
These projects are the latest in a long string of collaborations with PMP. Recently, HCEF also signed agreements with PMP to restore 7 community wells for non-profit organizations working with vulnerable communities, and will rehabilitate 17 dilapidated Christian homes over the next year. Truly, it is through HCEF’s collaborations with other organizations and people of good will that we have again and again experienced Christ’s promise:
“For where two or three gather in my name, there I am among them.” Matthew 18:20.
For more information about HCEF’s Community Development Programs, please visit: