Phase 3: In December back from Switzerland our local team had to adopt four stories and have them illustrated by the children with the use of different techniques. Yannick, LaureN, a photographer, Lorette, a professional storyteller, and Tina, an illustrator, joined them in Bethlehem..

For phase 2 of A story from home the team was meant to go back to the four classes that had been chosen to listen to the stories that had been gathered by the children. To this end Fatmeh was accompanied by Vivian, a famous local storyteller.

Fatmeh chose four schools for the experiment, one in the city, another one in a village, yet another one in a refugee camp and the last one among the Bedouins. .

The aim of the project "A story from home" is to have books or films produced by children from Palestine (and the world at large) available to them and allow the children to approach their culture with a sense of fulfilment at a time when their world is limited to their immediate surroundings, borders are tightening up, and the situation is such as to progressively wipe out centuries of history.

23th September 2016

According to the terms of reference assigned to the Board of the Association des Amis de la Crèche de Bethléem (Switzerland) by the General Assembly on 21 May 2016, the Board as represented by three of its members, Jacqueline Mardelle, President, Dr Francis Rime, Secretary, and Fr Jean-Bernard Livio, Vice-President, with the assistance of Meriem Benmelouka, a long-standing friend and professional mediator, reported to rue du Bac in order to meet the Superior General of the Compagnie des Filles de la Charité, on 20 September 2016, at 2:30 pm.. For the occasion, Sr Kathleen had wanted to be accompanied by Sr Françoise, Assistent General of the Congregation, Sr Marie-Madeleine, Visiting Councillor for the Middle East, and Fr Antoine Nakad.

From the outset, on behalf of Sr Kathleen, Sr Françoise let us know about the decision made by the Compagnie des Filles de la Charité: they no longer wanted to pursue their collaboration with the Association des Amis de la Crèche de Bethléem, the Superior General thus upholding the wish of the Crèche’s present manager, Sr Denise, to no longer work with us. The ground mentioned was that our Association’s commitment to the Crèche’s children and the actions carried out and funded by it to their profit did not match Sr Denise’s views on the institution she’d been chosen to lead.

In spite of our efforts to keep the door open, there was no desire to converge towards a common approach as the decision had obviously been made before we met. We cannot but be saddened by this position which we deplore but which has the advantage of being clear. This decision puts an end to a ten-year partnership.

Our commitment to the children of Bethlehem will continue under procedures that we have already tested in Bethlehem, in particular in the sectors of care for disadvantaged children, psychomotor skills and training of qualified personnel for the most destitute children. Further news will follow at the end of the year.

Our aim is to continue to focus on children.

Jacqueline Mardelle, Elisabeth Fromaigeat,

Pascal Fleury, P. Jean-Bernard Livio SJ, Dr Francis Rime,

Members of the Board