Youth Program Completed
CNEWA’s team in Jerusalem has completed a three-year program to help youth in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Launched in partnership with several agencies — including Germany’s Misereor and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. The program provided 20 local organizations training in strategic planning, management, budgeting and proposal writing that supported more than 7,500 Palestinian young people, most of them from middle- to low-income households. Among other things, the program supported sports initiatives for girls, raised environmental awareness, introduced new child-friendly activities in schools and celebrated Palestinian cultural heritage.
Indian Seminary Updated
Thanks to generous gifts from CNEWA donors, the Syro-Malabar Catholic Jeevalaya Seminary in Bangalore, India, has received a new biogas generator. Some 85 seminarians and 15 staff members will benefit. Cooking gas in India is expensive and difficult to obtain. The installation of this new plant on the campus will provide a low-cost and efficient source of cooking fuel for the seminary community.
New Regional Director for Lebanon
In November, CNEWA President Msgr. John E. Kozar named Michel Constantin as the agency’s regional director for Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. He succeeds Issam Bishara, who served the agency with distinction for more than 25 years.
Mr. Constantin is no stranger to CNEWA, having worked closely with Mr. Bishara for more than two decades in developing and implementing programs and projects to resettle families displaced by the Lebanese civil war, rush emergency relief to victims of war, and renovate or rehabilitate the many initiatives of the churches in Lebanon, Syria and Egypt.
The CNEWA family wishes Issam Bishara its profound gratitude for all his efforts on behalf of the churches in Lebanon, Syria and Egypt and with excitement welcomes Michel Constantin in his new capacity as regional director.
Church in Ukraine Renovated
A CNEWA grant has helped to complete work on a parish church for Greek Catholics in the Transcarpathia region of Ukraine.
“The parish community of the Lord’s Transfiguration in Chop sincerely renders thanks to CNEWA,” wrote the parish administrator, the Rev. Attila Sabo. Funds were used to install insulation and paint the church’s façade. Father Sabo expressed his personal appreciation, “asking God’s blessings, good health and much success in your meritorious work,” and offered prayers to all the agency’s benefactors.
Over the past several months, CNEWA’s team in Jerusalem has been providing emergency relief in Gaza as a result of the strife between Hamas and the State of Israel in November 2012, which forced tens of thousands of Gazans to flee their homes. Assistance from CNEWA donors and partners &mash; including Manos Unidas, Misereor, the Archdiocese of Cologne, Kinderhilfe Bethlehem, Kindermissionswerk and some anonymous benefactors — made available medical support, emergency home repair and therapy for both children and parents.
You can read a fuller account of the aid offered at our website: WWW.CNEWABLOG.ORG/WEB/GAZADEC2013
Journey to the Caucasus
In November, CNEWA’s Chief Communications Officer Michael La Civita, and Program Director Thomas Varghese, visited Georgia and Armenia to assess the needs of the people and determine how CNEWA can assist. The two met with religious and lay leaders in both countries, and also visited projects already supported by CNEWA donors — including the Center for Disability and Inclusion in Gyumri, Armenia, which CNEWA is helping to construct in partnership with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
You can read more about this memorable “Journey to the Southern Caucasus” and see more pictures at our blog at: WWW.CNEWABLOG.ORG/WEB/JOURNEY. You can also hear more with Michael La Civita and Thomas Varghese at ONEMAGAZINE.ORG/WEB/VISIT
Ethiopian School Upgraded
With support from Germany’s Kindermissionswerk, CNEWA is launching a project to upgrade Debre Selam Mariam Catholic School in the northern Ethiopian city of Gondar. The project will enable students to better prepare for higher education. This Catholic school has remained for its mostly Orthodox students a model of academic excellence for more than 50 years. The project marks the third school CNEWA has helped to upgrade in northern Ethiopia.
CNEWA’s regional director in Ethiopia, Argaw Fantu, wrote recently: “How happy are parents and children to enjoy continuing education in the same school as children grow and mature. It is the unrelenting support of the CNEWA family that keeps hopes of needy children alive.”
Kansas Supports Middle East
In early December, Norma Intriago, who coordinates CNEWA’s fundraising efforts in the United States, visited the Church of the Ascension in Overland Park, Kansas. Ms. Intriago spoke at two Masses, explaining how the parish is helping Christians in the Middle East through CNEWA.
For five years, the parish’s International Mission Ministry has supported generously the Mother of Mercy Clinic in the Jordanian city of Zerqa and the Pontifical Mission Library in the capital of Amman. Last year, it also helped rush relief to Christian refugees from Syria.
Msgr. Thomas Tank, pastor, explained that the parish strives not only to respond to community needs in Kansas, but also to love the parish’s neighbors in the Middle East.
To find out how your parish can be a part of our CNEWA family, give us a call:
1.800.442.6392 (United States)
New Playground Built in Bethlehem
With the generous support of a CNEWA donor, the St. Joseph Center, a nursery of the Dominican Sisters in Bethlehem, was able to renovate its playground. New flooring, an awning, wall padding and child-friendly restrooms now provide a safe and welcoming environment for about 50 preschoolers and kindergarten-age children. The St. Joseph Center has been providing quality education and care for Christian and Muslim children in Bethlehem for 13 years.