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CNEWA receives major grant for child care projects in Holy Land

07 Apr 2009 – A grant of $804,014 has been awarded to CNEWA’s Jerusalem office for its child care projects by the Salam ya Seghar fund. The grant, which will be supplemented by $256,941 from a number of additional benefactors, will develop the infrastructure and improve the services of 36 child care institutions, including schools, kindergartens and facilities for the handicapped in the districts of Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Jericho and Ramallah.

One of the institutions scheduled to receive support is the Al Rowwad Cultural and Theatre Training Center, located in the Aida Refugee Camp just north of Bethlehem. CNEWA’s Jerusalem-based staff, which has already assisted in the refurbishment of a youth activity center there, will supervise and administrate funds to organize youth activities and programs at the cultural center. Aida camp, which is home to some 4,000 people, will be visited by Pope Benedict XVI during his trip to Jordan, Palestine and Israel in May.

Established by Sheikha Jawher Bent Muhammad Al-Qasimi of Sharjah (one of the emirates that makes up the United Arab Emirates), the Salam ya Seghar fund addresses the humanitarian crisis in Palestine. In particular, the fund focuses on urgent needs of children in the West Bank and Gaza.

Founded in 1926 by Pope Pius XI, CNEWA is a special agency of the Holy See providing support to the churches and peoples of the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe. Programs in the Middle East include emergency relief, assistance to displaced Lebanese, Iraqi and Palestinian families, long-term community redevelopment projects, job creation programs, youth activities and pre- and post-natal medical care.