Christian Humanitarian Support
The Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land was created to inform and educate the general public about the plight of Christians in the Holy Land, where inadequate housing, high unemployment and greatly reduced educational opportunities are causing widespread suffering and a mass exodus of the indigenous Christian population.
Principal Purpose and Mission
By increasing awareness of the complex human rights issues involving Christians in this part of the world, the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land seeks to establish equality of opportunity for this unrepresented minority group and safeguard their right to remain in their homeland. Caught in the middle of an intense religious and ethnic power struggle, Christians in the Holy Land are the forgotten victims in the current political crisis in the Middle East. As a minority population in the Holy Land, Christians in Jerusalem and other Holy Land cities are often among the first to suffer when conflicts between Palestinian and Israeli interests bring new hardships to the area.
The Children's March For Peace
The Children’s March for Peace in Bethlehem gives the community a sense of unity and collective accomplishment, while at the same time drawing attention to this demonstration for peace. At this Christmas celebration, children exchange gifts, play games, and put on shows. In Manger Square, bouquets of white balloons float to the heavens as a sign of peace and freedom. In 2008, the parish priests of Jerusalem approached FFHL, asking if we could assist them with sponsoring this special event – which we have been proud to do.
Established in 2003, the March for Peace seeks to build bonds of friendship between children of the Holy Land, and provide them a day of joy and celebration as they relive the Nativity story where it took place. This day also brings together the local communities to increase appreciation of their common heritage in the roots of Christianity, and a sense of identity in the Holy Land.
The very first march was led by the Mayor of Bethlehem and the Minister of Tourism, along with Fr. Ibrahim Faltas OFM, Director of John Paul II Foundation, and Fr. Peter Vasko OFM, President of FFHL.
The Children's Christmas Program in Bethlehem
Bethlehem, the birthplace Jesus Christ, is now a “walled” city, a virtual prison. Yet, the light of Christ will not be extinguished. People of good-will continue to ensure that this light burns bright.
Each year, through the generosity of FFHL supporters, Christmas gifts are distributed to over 900 children living in the Bethlehem area, and support a Christmas musical for the community. Pictures can only begin to capture the pure joy of a child opening a present on Christmas morning.
This program has received exemplary support from the Catholic faithful in the Orlando region, under the leadership of Mrs. Faith Libbe, Regional Representative for the FFHL.
Each year, Mrs. Libbe and her committee travel to homes and parishes throughout their area to raise funds for the event.
The FFHL is deeply appreciative of these efforts, which bring joy to so many children whose lives have been impacted by economic difficulties.
Give to our Humanitarian Programs
You are making a difference in the Holy Land! The donation levels below illustrate some examples of the ways we use philanthropic gifts to support our programs.