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Holy See

Holy Land Summer Camps Offer Refuge from Pressures of Everyday Life

Friends of the Holy Land is an ecumenical Christian charity that has been supporting Christian projects and communities across the Holy Land since its foundation 10 years ago.  FHL work with Christian institutions in Israel, Jordan, West Bank, and Gaza, as well as providing individual emergency support to Christian families from their Bethlehem Office. Over the last 10 years, thanks to the support of Christians here in the UK FHL have raised more than £4.5million for vulnerable Christians in the Holy Land.

For six weeks throughout July and August whilst schools are closed for their annual summer break, summer camps are developing for Christian children at many parishes in the Holy Land. Aside from the ongoing impact on their families of poverty, hardship, isolation, and marginalization, local children face an unusual challenge as they are not able to venture far from home to meet other relatives in their free time due to travel restrictions. Stuck in their local area and subject to the dangers of influences that are less than peaceful, there is a temptation that “the devil can find work for idle hands”

Local Summer Camps are therefore an important activity to counter this temptation and influences. Children from all Christian denominations and the local Muslim community all receive the same warm welcome and unconditional support. They play together, go on local excursions together, engage in lively discussions and organized activities and get support to help with their studies and develop experience with new disciplines such as music and art. All under the close supervision of the local Parish Priest helped by leaders from the local Christian community to ensure these children build their faith as well as develop healthy friendships.

Friends of the Holy Land has been supporting summer camps each year for several different age ranges of children (primary through secondary) in the Christian communities of Bethlehem, Nablus, Nazareth, and Ramallah. Their success can be seen in the faces of the children in these pictures, there are many more along with videos on our facebook page and website.

There are many other Christian communities that we could help with more funding. As a rough guide, it costs around £10 per week to keep one child in a summer camp, a bargain when you consider the other activities in which these children could become embroiled or be innocent bystanders, if not off the streets. We know that Christians and their families have always been very generous in their support of our projects, we ask you to consider how you can support our existing summer camp program and its expansion to other equally needy areas; just a few pounds a month could support a child’s experience. Perhaps you or a local group could consider a fund to support a summer program for 10 or more children. We can provide you with impact reports and pictures evidencing the difference you will make to keep these and more children safe, educated and growing in faith and friendship.

Please come to one of our events advertised on our website to find out more about this and other projects we currently support and how you can help. If you could support the summer camp program please donate by, sending a cheque made payable to ‘Friends of the Holy Land’ to the address below, Go online www.friendsoftheholyland.org.uk and click the donate now button or Telephone the office 01926 512980 (9 am -1 pm)  and donate by card. Thank you.

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