by Elli Atchison, World Vision
There is a refuge where people gather in the town called Beit Jala. The Women’s Child Care Society (WCCS) has been serving the community for more than 70 years. It was originally established as a first-aid center for refugees coming into Bethlehem during the first Arab-Israeli War in 1948. But today the WCCS does much more.
The mission of the WCCS aims to “provide activities to empower women, children, and youth in all aspects of life.” This is accomplished in a variety of ways. First, as the name suggests, it is a loving place where working mothers entrust their small children. Second, it provides low-cost housing to the poor. Third, the WCCS hosts engaging summer camps that encourage youth to appreciate their rich culture. Finally, it trains and provides employment for women who specialize in the unique style of tahriri embroidery.
Tahriri is a cultural reflection of the past. Taking over six months to master, it is a beautiful crocheting stitch that can only be found in Bethlehem. This signature style takes gold and silver cords and intricately weaves them through vibrant colors of thread into amazing pieces of art. Today, more than 50 local women create beautiful tahriri table runners, pillow covers, and evening bags in their homes. They then bring them to the WCCS to be sold at fair trade markets. This employment opportunity allows Palestinian women to work from home and to provide needed income for their families.
If it was not for the WCCS, this cultural art form would have disappeared. Today, they are the only organization in all of Palestine that produces tahrir. But, in addition to preserving this artistic embroidery, the WCCS is maintaing tradition and values of the Christian community where Jesus was born. That is why World Vision is proud to sponsor the valuable work of WCCS through the Palestinian Church Engagement Initiative. They are truly preserving the beauty of the past, while serving the needs of the present, and providing hope for a brighter future.
Dear Father God,
Thank You for the WCCS that has been tirelessly serving the needs of the community for so many years. We pray blessings on the women serving here, as their daily efforts remind us of the woman of noble character Your Word teaches us about in Proverbs 31. Bless them for all the ways they:
- work with eager hands (31:13)
- provide food for their families (31:15)
- care for the poor (31:20)
- create beauty from threads and trade it profitably (31:18, 22-24)
- help to raise the next generation with wisdom and love (3:26-28)
May the work of their hands and the spirit of their hearts continue to prosper for many generations to come.
Learn how you can support the Women’s Child Care Society and other organizations like it through World Vision’s Palestinian Church Engagement Initiative.