Christmas Charity Launches Appeal to Help the Children of Bethlehem
A charity called BibleLands has set itself the target of raising £150,000 for this years Christmas appeal. The money will go towards caring and supporting children across the Middle East who suffers from disabilities.
The appeal is hoped to highlight how a Christian based care centre, called The Sheepfold, in Shepherd’s Fields in Bethlehem care for those who are in need.
The appeal is hoping to raise funds that will be vital towards the provision of education, equipment and therapy for the many disabled children there. As there is very little in the way of state support families of such children struggle to cope with daily living.
Tricia Pruden, Head of Communications and Fundraising explained that the focus of the appeal was The Sheepfold after the plight of Jamilla, a thirteen year old girl who suffers from congenital disabilities and hearing impairment came to her attention.
She said, “Like many disabled children in the Middle East, Jamilla spent the early years of her life hidden away. Although she was keen to go to school like her siblings, there was no opportunity for her to have an education. She remained at home, spending long hours alone, while her disadvantaged parents tried to cope with her disabilities as well as everyday life without any financial or practical aid.”
Jamilla’s daily routine changed after she was accepted into the Sheepfold. She started having physiotherapy done, learned how to use modified IT equipment and most importantly have the chance to make friends with people of her own age.
Pruden added, “Her situation really emphasises the importance of The Sheepfold’s work – and that of our other Project Partners supporting so many young people’s varied needs in the Middle East. We want the money raised by this Appeal to change the lives of as many disabled children as possible.”
The aim of the Sheepfold is to provide individual care and teaching for children and youngsters who have special needs. It is a Christian home situated in Beit Sahour, a Palestinian Christian Arab town outside Bethlehem in the West Bank.
The charity’s top priority is to give help to children who do not have anywhere else to go because they have been rejected by other places who do not know how to cope with children with severe disabilities or severe behaviour problems. They do not charge for the help they provide and do not receive any support from the government by way of funding, hence the Christmas appeal.
Pruden concluded by saying, “The shepherds of 2000 years ago were marginalised members of society – but they were valued and accepted by God. This Christmas, while people reflect on the Nativity story, we are asking them to consider the marginalised children of today, who are just as precious in God’s sight. Through the work of our Partners on the ground, people here in the UK can recognise the unique and special value of Jamilla and each and every one of those children like her, whatever their difficulty or disability, by making a gift to BibleLands that will help them this Christmas.”
For further information about the charity or to make a donation please visit www.bibleands.org.uk.