Women’s Child Care Society, Beit Jala was established in 1944, WCCS aims to provide activities to empower women, children and youth in all aspects of life. Their projects including a nursery, housing and income generating kitchen. The embroidery centre, established to preserve their heritage, now supports about 50 women who specialise in the unique tahriri work, done with couching stitch using Syrian silk thread – ever more difficult to obtain.
Unique to the Bethlehem/Beit Jala cultural heritage, tahriri embroidery takes six months to master because it is so difficult. The huge settlement of Gilo is built on confiscated Beit Jala land. The worsening political situation has caused 60% unemployment in the area, resulting in heavy emigration. The group lacks structures like code numbers and product development which would enable more sales.