The new Internet site of the Franciscan Boys Home in Bethlehem: serving the future of the Holy Land | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

The new Internet site of the Franciscan Boys Home in Bethlehem: serving the future of the Holy Land

1 March 2012

The new website of the Casa francescana del Fanciullo - Franciscan Boy Home ( now online in Italian, English and Arabic. The site will be invaluable to anyone who is interested in getting to know the life of the Boys Home, an important residential project of the Custody of the Holy Land in Bethlehem since 2007, that offers an accepting, healthy community environment for children between the ages of 6 and 18 years who are in need of special support and care due to serious family or social problems – an invaluable project in the context of the Palestinian Territories, where children are inevitably exposed to many difficult and dysfunctional situations. The Franciscan Custody, always sensitive to the needs of the local population and, in particular, to those of the Christian families in the Holy Land, once again desiring to become concretely involved, found a common goal with the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, who provided a bulding to accommodate the children, and the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land, which provided the financing necessary to restore the building, launch the project and hire a team of full-time educators and other professionals.

The new site, complete with photos of the young residents going about their daily life in the Boys Home, uses simple, accessible language to provide all the information necessary to get to know this valuable initiative:
• the presentation of the project, which illustrates the reasons and needs that led to the initiative;
• the mission, which focuses on the values and religious beliefs that inspire the hospitality and assistance offered by the community, and its educational and rehabilitative goals;
• the vision, that is, the integration of the project in the context of an area of manifold, complex needs, where poverty is widespread and where, therefore, the Franciscan Boys Home represents a pioneering initiative that can become a model for other similar projects and initiatives to increase the awareness and participation in the local community, developing subsidiarity and self care of individuals and groups;
• the values that began and still support the informal education activities and daily life, with the directors' attention to the personal needs, material care, and cultural, scientific and spiritual growth, to hospitality and respect for others, team work;
• the objectives of integral personal promotion and interpersonal and social development of the young residents, offering them a psychologically healthy and positive environment and an authentic family atmosphere that helps them surpass the behavioral problems related to their dysfunctional environments of orgin, to cultivate their own personal qualities and talents, to acquire the competences necessary for coping with daily problems and assume a positive social and cultural role in the context of their own lives;
• activities that punctuate the day and solidify the project's educational acitvities, demonstrating its base values, such as caring, teaching and learning, spiritual and religious animation, sports and art activities, recreation, summer camps; hospitality, with detailed attention to the spaces of which the project disposes;
• contacts for all those who would like to get to know the Boys Home more closely and to give concrete support to its activities.

A popular new tool, then, in the service of a precious project that is a real joy for the Franciscan Custody, which manages and supports it with care and sensitivity. The Franciscan Boys Home is truly an effective, valid investment in the future of the young people who are welcomed into the community and for the Holy Land to which they belong and for whom they are an invaluable resource.

Text by Caterina Foppa Pedretti

Visit the website of the Franciscan Boys Home