Women at the centre of the story
Women are at the centre of the nativity story. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, as well as Mary. Before she travels to Bethlehem, Mary travels to visit her older cousin Elizabeth, to seek comfort and support. 'My soul magnifies The Lord ' the famous words spoken by our Lady, 'and the child in her womb leapt for joy' the response of St John in his mother's womb.
Joy is at the heart of Christmas, but it is also part of daily life, and even at the Mar Ellia camp there are moments of laughter and joy in the daily chores of the women. This is seen most evidently in the communal areas, from the wash-house newly built to help maintain sanitation, to the sewing tent, a domain for the young and old to come together, and as they will freely admit, to chat and gossip as much as do any work.
Working together, the women of the camp have been a formidable force for development and improvement, seeking better things for their families. At present education takes place in a single tent for all of the nearly 400 children in the camp. In the new year, we will be looking at ways to help develop and improve the provision of education in the camp for all.
In the meantime we are helping provide diversions for the women at the camp, be it funds for day trips for the teenage girls, to sporting opportunities and pastimes they can do at the camp. Women in the Middle East often face uncertainty, discrimination and violence; working with the community we will endeavour to help ensure that all women, but especially the young women, are given support to help ensure a healthy and safe life in the future.
To help us with this work please donate here.