Jeel al-Amal Boys Home
Bethany was once home to Mary, Martha and Lazarus and only a “Palm Sunday” walk over the Mt of Olives from Jerusalem. The village is now in economic collapse, hidden from view behind the new Separation Security Wall.
A beacon of light is the Jeel al-Amal (Generation of Hope) School and Boys Home. Founded in 1972 by Christian Palestinians, Alice and Basil Sahhar, the project is now under the direction of their daughter, Najwa. Three hundred children are being educated in the primary school which is affiliated to the Palestinian Education Authority and which pays the teachers’ salaries and one hundred boys live in the Home. The boys come from Jerusalem and from towns and villages in the Palestinian territories. Many are orphans or have endured terrible domestic problems.
Most McCabe pilgrim parties visit Jeel as part of their pilgrimage itinerary and receive a warm welcome. While there is little material wealth, the love and devotion of the staff are reflected in the perfect manners and sunny dispositions of the children. Jeel al Amal changes lives and many are the pilgrims who over the years have been moved and amazed by its work.
Over the past four summers the McCabe Educational Trust has linked up with the charitable teaching organisation, Unipal, to send a team of experienced volunteer teachers from the UK to run a summer school at Jeel. The volunteers have been amazed at what the staff achieve with the children, especially in the light of the political difficulties and restrictions that Bethany experiences, not to mention the lack of resources and funding. They were particularly impressed at how the older boys act as mentors to the younger children and help take responsibility for their welfare. All of the volunteers felt that the level of teaching at Jeel and the care given to often vulnerable children was exceptional.
The McCabe Educational Trust supports the running costs of Jeel with a quarterly remittance and funds improvements with capital grants.
Watch the boys playing music in a 3 minute film here
Browse the Jeel Al Amal website here
To read and print our information sheet click here
To make an on-line donation click here