A delegation from Caritas Europe visited the Holy Land on March 5, 2023 as a sign of support and solidarity to Caritas Jerusalem’s efforts towards the most vulnerable people and groups in society. A visit that, it is hoped, to open up new prospects for collaboration.
Maria Nyman, secretary general of Caritas Europe said, “I am very moved, I feel privileged and proud to be part of this beautiful family of Caritas. I admire the work done by Caritas Jerusalem; it is really moving, important and beautiful. Our purpose in coming here is also to show solidarity, to show that we are with you, that we want to support you in the way we can.”
She added: “I think this is the uniqueness of Caritas, namely to really walk alongside each other and always seek the dignity of each person. We are with you, we pray for you and we are very grateful for all the work you are doing. It is really a blessing and an honor for me and the whole delegation to be here.”
Patrick Debucquois, secretary general of Caritas Belgium said, “I am very impressed with the quantity and quality of the work that Caritas is doing. Caritas is really making a difference where people need support, encouragement. I think this is in line with what Caritas is trying to do all over the world, in all situations where people might feel hopeless: Caritas offers hope and practical ways to deal with difficulties.”
Natalia Peiro, secretary general of Caritas Spain said, “It is very important that Caritas continues to support the most fragile and vulnerable people in the Holy Land. We have known several works that support people with disabilities and Caritas is there to support the most vulnerable people in society.”
While Anton Asfar, secretary general of Caritas Jerusalem said: “This is an important time for Caritas Jerusalem, when we welcome our guests and brothers from Caritas Europe to visit Caritas’ various projects and programs, and to learn about the Christian presence in the Holy Land. We depend on their support and solidarity. We are very grateful for this visit.”
Caritas Europe delegates visited a number of social and pastoral projects carried out by Caritas Jerusalem, including two works that deal with disabilities, namely the House of the Divine Child in Bethlehem, where the Sisters of the Incarnate Word care for children, and the Basma Center in Beit Sahour, which seeks to create employment opportunities for young people and adults with disabilities to provide them with a source of income.
The delegation was also briefed on interventions carried out by Caritas Jerusalem in development projects, such as the rehabilitation and reclamation of agricultural land in the Al-Makhrour area in Bethlehem Governorate.