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2010 Projects in the Holy Land

The total budget approved by the Grand Magisterium, during the spring meeting on April 23, 2010, for the construction of new buildings or the extraordinary maintenance of the existing ones, amounts to 1,7 million Euro for the year 2010. This amount will be used, on one side, for the urgent refurbishing of three school in Jordan ( 621,000 JOD) and the Rosary Sisters’ convent in Reneh of Galilee (913,000 NIS)  and, on the other, for  the initial works for the construction of the superior school in Rameh of Galilee (2,5 million NIS) and the new church “Stella Maris” at Aqaba in Jordan (340,000 JOD). The amounts to be disbursed were approved in local currencies; the corresponding values in Euro, shown in parenthesis below, result from the application of the official exchange rates on  23/4/2010, i.e 0.94375 JOD/€ and 4.96909 NIS/€.


Kerak school
                                                                                          227,337 JOD (241,000 €)

The project includes the restructuring of the school, with the recovery of unused space for 4 classrooms on the first floor of the old building (A) and the connection by a gallery to the new building (B). This will allow the creation of a  second section for grades 4 and 5 of the elementary school. In order to do this, the Kindergarten will be transferred from the ground floor of the old building (A) to the area under  the Sisters’ convent (C). This will also allow the renewal of the Computer and Science laboratories as well as the Library. All the doors, windows, bathrooms  and the electromechanical/heating system will be renovated, together with the tiles, painting of the walls  and waterproofing of the roof. 

Wahadneh school                                                                                   170,808 JOD (181,000 €)

The Kindergarten, presently located in an unhealthy space in the basement under the main school, will be transferred to the ground floor building adjacent to the church and the space vacated will be used for the Computer and Science laboratories. The school will be completely refurbished and the space for 3 additional classrooms will be recovered on the first floor. The same finishing works reported above for Kerak school will be carried over.

Nahour school                                                                                        217,475 JOD (230,000 €)

An extension of around 95 sq mt will be added to the ground floor, to host the new Computer and Science laboratories. The space previously occupied by them in the basement will be restructured to become a library/multipurpose hall and the structure of the building will be reinforced. The same finishing works, reported for Kerak and Wahadneh schools, will be carried over.

All the above three projects have to be completed by September 2010, in time for the start of the new school year. 

Aqaba “ Stella Maris” church (1 st part)                                            340,000 JOD (360,000 €)

The construction of a church, replacing the small chapel existing at present, is very urgent, to permit an adequate pastoral care  of the Christian  community, which is rapidly expanding due to the increase of Jordanian and foreign workers, employed in the intensive development projects of the city. A Patriarchate priest, Fr.  Issam Zu’mot, has been residing in Aqaba for two years. The building has a total surface of 1,891 sq mt, with the community hall on the ground floor and the church on the first floor. The construction will be completed in two years from the starting date.  The total budget cost is presently under review by the Patriarchate and the sum reported above corresponds to the amount needed for the works planned for the current year. 


Rameh school (1st part)                                                                       2,485,000 NIS (500,000 €)

A new building of 1,458 sq mt - composed by a basement, a ground floor and a first floor,    immediately adjacent to the existing school -  will be built  by September 2011, to accommodate the courses of the upper grades (10 to 12) and the laboratories. Superior courses are in high demand by the families, to avoid the daily shuttling of the students to and fro the LPJ school in Reneh. The operating costs of these courses will be funded by the Israeli Ministry  of Education, which makes this project very attractive from the economic point of view. Also in this case the total budget cost of the project is  under review by the Patriarchate; the sum reported above  refers only to the works in 2009.

Rosary Sisters convent in Reneh
                                                           913,000 NIS ( 184,000 €)

The restructuring of the convent, on the first floor above the Kindergarten of the school, is very urgent to restore a minimum comfort and privacy for the Sisters. To this scope the existing balcony will be enlarged, to provide also an adequate corridor, and the lay-out of the rooms will be  changed by internal partitions. The electromechanical/heating system, the bathrooms  and the wall painting will  also be  renovated. The original budget cost of the Patriarchate was smaller (650,000 NIS); the sum reported above is the result of the first tender, at present under evaluation.

Beit Jala Seminary- external shaded area                                              126,900 NIS (28,000 €)

This project, authorized  by His Eminence the Cardinal Grand Master and already completed  by February 2010, includes the waterproofing,  the shading ( with an aluminum structure)  and the tiling of the upper terrace,  which connects the new rooms for the propaedeutical year to the Major Seminar building, through a suspended gallery.  A new stair was also installed and the drains renovated.

The following projects were previously announced:

1) Completion of the swimming pool - Beit Hanina Campus – Jerusalem              170,000 €

The campus in Beit Hanina was inaugurated in the year 2000 and, together with the older (1867) campus in the old city of Jerusalem, forms an excellent centre of education of the La Salle Brothers in Jerusalem for 1500 young Palestinians (half of them Christians). The campus, which accommodates 800 students from kindergarten to the 8th grade, started the construction of a Community Multipurpose Building; only the structure was completed for lack of funds.
The completion of the swimming pool (inside that building) is not to be considered a luxury expense. With a population of 300,000 people in East Jerusalem, only one small swimming pool exists, at the YMCA, quite far from Beit Hanina. In the entire area of Bet Hanina, young Palestinians do not have any place to go for their recreational activities, no theatre or cinemas or sport fields.  This kind of facility can provide a very important haven to keep young people away from violence, drugs or other dangers, moral or material.

2) Fire prevention facilities -  Daughters of St. Anne Institute - Sephoris (Nazareth)     69,000 €

The Institute of the Daughters of St. Anne has been operated in Sephoris since 1923 and presently shelters 83 children, ages from 3 to 18 years, victims of sexual abuse, drugs, alcohol, physical violence or psychological trauma.
In 2008 the Fire Brigades’ Department has required the installation, by the end of the current year – as a condition not to withdraw the license - of smoke detectors, emergency lights, and loudspeakers in every room plus the fire extinguisher system.
The Sisters were not able to shoulder these expenses and requested the aid of ROACO. They informed ROACO that, in case they were forced to close the doors, they did not have any idea of what would happen to their 83 children.

3) Completion of the Community Hall - Syrian Orthodox Church – Bethlehem      49,000 €

The Syrian Orthodox Church numbers 600 families in the Holy Land, half of which live in Bethlehem, mostly concentrated around the Virgin Mary Parish church built in 1922. Since it lacked a place to adequately support the religious and social life of the Community, the Syrian-Orthodox Patriarchate managed to build, four years ago, the structure of a new hall, adjacent to the church but could not finish it for lack of resources.

The donation decided by His Eminence the Cardinal Grand Master responds to the ideal of ecumenical charity, to which our Order was urged by the Holy Father.

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