A day In Jerusalem

Date: 29 May 2013

Chartering Ceremony Y’s Men & Women’s Club of Bethlehem, Palestine, April 6th 2013

“A day in Jerusalem” is an innovative programme being implemeted  by the East Jerusalem YMCA with the support of the East Jerusalem Ys Men and Women’s Club, the first Y’s Men Club in Palestine. The programme creates an opportunity for Palestinian children aged from 5 to 12 from the West Bank cities to visit the Holy City, that is not accessible to them otherwise. The desire of the Club is, together with the East Jerusalem YMCA, to organise  4 trips every year with 50 children per trip. But things are not that easy and the Clubs face a number of obstacles, one of which is entry permits for the children.

While the East Jerusalem Club, with both men and women is striving to add more value to the programmes of the YMCA, another dream became a reality for the YMCA leaders in Palestine as Andre Batarseh, the General Secretary of the East Jerusalem YMCA expresseded it.

“The Y’s Men and Women’s Club of Bethlehem” was chartered during the World Alliance Executive Committee and related meetings hosted by the East Jerusalem YMCAS in Jericho in  April this year.   It is the second Y’s Men club in Palestine.

The Bethlehem club was chartered with 17 members, men and women. Its objectives include the following:

•    Function primarily as a service club for the YMCA
•    Support other worthy organizations through volunteerism, networking and
•    Encourage justice in civic and international affairs, abstaining always from
      party politics
•    Keep members informed on and actively involved in religious, civic, economic,
      social and international matters
•    Cultivate good fellowship and finally,
•    Support club ,district, regional, area and international projects of Y’s Men.

While the newly chartered club is still in the process of developing its activities and preparing projects, it is already collaborating with the East Jerusalem YMCA  and the Y’s men & Women’s club in  East Jerusalem “,  on the “A Day In Jerusalem” initiative which is  funded by the Y’s Men Region Sweden.

Members of the club meet regularly with  their families and friends. They invite speakers to help the members look at priorities and needs in their societies in order to work on projects that will help to alleviate, as much as possible, the suffering of their people .

The East Jerusalem YMCA work with and for the youth in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Its also supports the Palestinian communities through its  programs. This provides a good cooperation platform for the two chartered Y’s Men and Women’s clubs.

That is why the staff and the Volunteers of the  East Jerusalem YMCA  host, with real pride, the two Y’s Men and Women’s clubs, as their fundamental goal is to support them in return.

In the coming days there will be talks to identify common interests and specific  tasks, programs and projects to be jointly undertaken.

Leaders of both YMCA and Y’s Men hope to start at least two other clubs, in a near future in Ramallah and  in Jericho.

With their Joint effort, the YMCA and the Y’s Men and Women’s clubs  are keeping hope alive for the people in Palestine.
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