Bethlehem – Today, Bank of Palestine innaugurated the Child-Friendly Space project at the SOS Village in Bethlehem, as part of its support for persons who have lost various forms of family support. The project aims to create a friendly and safe environment for the Village children and contribute to achieving sustainable community development. The innauguration ceremny was held in the presence of Mr. Muhammad Al Shalaldah, the Country Director of SOS Children’s Villages in Palestine, Ms. Reem Qaraqe, Bank of Palestine Director of Retail Banking Services in the South Region, Mr. Riyad Qatoush, General Manager of Bank of Palestine in Bethlehem, and a group of staff members from the SOS Children’s Village and Bank of Palestine.
The General Manager of Bank of Palestine, Mr. Mahmoud Al Shawa, expressed his happiness and pride in inaugurating this important project in partnership with the SOS Children’s Villages, stressing that the Bank pays great attention to supporting charitable institutions and societies, especially those concerned with children, to meet all their needs and requirements, and enable them to carry out their duties to serve this social segment that requires the necessary care and attention.
Al Shawa stressed that Bank of Palestine has been one of the partners supporting SOS Children’s Villages since 2018, as part of its social responsibility towards the Palestinian community, whereby the Bank allocates 5% of its annual profits to support effective community initiatives and activities, stemming from its vision to support and develop Palestinian society at various levels and fields, including support for institutions concerend with the provision of care of those who have lost their family support system. According to Al Shawa, all these efforts will contribute to achieving sustainable social and economic development.
Al Shawa praised the important role of the SOS Children’s Villages in providing children with care and security, in addition to the various programs it provides for them, in the hope that this project will contribute to providing a safe and enjoyable environment for children near their families inside the village. This space, which includes rooms for music therapy, group therapy and sensory therapy, is extremely important for children, especially since the outbreak of COVID-19, which has reduced their opportunity to spend time in public spaces and spend more time indoors.
Mr. Shalaldeh, the Country Director of SOS Children's Villages, stressed the importance of the project as part of the organization's strategy to provide children a space to destress and play safe, and an opportuntiy to integrate them with children from the community. Shaladeh also stated that in the future, the space will be used for community integration and specialized group therapy.
Mr. Mohammad Hamdan, the Director of Financial Resources Development and Communication, praised Bank of Palestine’s partnership and considered it an example for emulation to support children of the SOS villages and the organization in general in terms of the type of development support provided by the Bank, in addition to the electronic solutions offered by the Bank to facilitate the collection of donations for the benefit of children. Hamdan called upon strengthening the local partnership with Palestinian private sector companies and institutions to support and empower families and youth under the care of SOS Children's Villages.
It is noteworthy that the SOS Children’s Villages Palestine is a non-profit organization registered in Palestine as part of the global SOS Children’s Villages, which operates in more than 136 countries and regions around the world. The SOS primarily provides alternative care services for children who have lost family care or those who are at risk of losing it, through the provision of homes within the villages, with a loving mother who takes care of them along with brothers and sisters, in a family atmosphere that enables them to develop their individual relationships and abilities and helps them grow within a family to rely on themselves and face the life challenges in the future.