Friends of the Holy Land – Press Release dated 8 May 2024.

Friends of the Holy Land is very pleased to announce the completion of Phase 1 of their Water Emergency & House Rehabilitation Project in Bethlehem. This project has directly improved living conditions for 48 families living in the area by installing water tanks and solar panels in the houses of families in need, giving them access to clean water and the ability to cope with water shortages. The investment in Phase 1 of this project has been £50,000.

“Mains water supply in the Bethlehem area is intermittent with supply being available perhaps only two days in a month. With so many people unemployed and stuck at home due to the war, the demand for clean water storage has hugely risen, so, this project addressed an urgent need for these families by replacing old, rusty and cracked water tanks. Their only option to these insanitary tanks is to buy in water by tanker at ten times the cost of mains supply. We are very happy that the works were completed as planned despite some of the increasing difficulties with restrictions on travel and supplies imposed due to the war.” advised Brendan Metcalfe CEO of Friends of the Holy Land.

The range of people helped by this project is across the spectrum of the local Christian community from large families to a young couple about to get married; all could not have afforded to even consider making this work without our help. Now, not only are their lives improved but they know that our supporters around the world love and care for them which is an emotional boost for them in these dark days. Hopefully this will also encourage them to remain in the Holy Land.

Also, as this project exclusively used local Christian suppliers and contractors, the financial benefits of the programme were multiplied as the project provided work and an income for them at a time where there are few construction jobs around as all construction project work has been stopped by the war. Moreover, as part of the project specification, young people from the Christian community were taken on as apprentices to learn the trade on the job.

The Office team of Friends of the Holy Land in Bethlehem worked in partnership with Pro Terra Sancta to identify and assess the families most in need and to manage the project. We have a growing waiting list for Phase 2 of this project which we hope to start later this year. Should you wish to support the next phase of this project please make the note “Water Project” when you make your donation online on our website or call our office on 01926 512980.

Pro Terra Sancta

Friends of the Holy Land

About Friends of the Holy Land:

Friends of the Holy Land patrons include the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Birmingham Bernard Longley and Dr Rowan Williams.

FHL is a small ecumenical Christian Charity (registered charity in England and Wales 1202568) working from an office in Kenilworth, but with groups and supporters across England and Scotland. FHL have been operating for over ten years having been founded in 2009 inspired by a Pilgrimage in 2007, a number of returning Pilgrims felt called to do something to improve the lives of Christians living in the Land that is at the root of their faith.

FHL operates an office in Bethlehem to support vulnerable Christians. In addition to meeting their direct emergency needs, when families fall into financial difficulty, FHL’s team in Bethlehem also works with other partner agencies to support vulnerable Christians with medical costs and school fees.  Both of which can be very expensive often accounting for as much as a quarter of a normal household’s yearly income.

Friends of the Holy Land have two major projects in Bethlehem, School of Joy providing education and therapy to disabled children and St Martha’s House which is a day centre for elderly women, mainly widows or those whose family have emigrated.  FHL also provide long term support to St Luke’s Hospital in Nablus, by supporting a medical exemption fund for the local Christian population.

Click here to visit their website for more information.