By Sarah Mac Donald - 21 November, 2014
The Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, will launch an emergency appeal for Gaza next Tuesday aimed at raising €150,000 for a hospital there.
“Let’s prepare a place at our table this Christmas” is the plea from the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough which is running an emergency appeal for the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza City this Advent.
The non-political appeal is being run as part of a longer term link which is being nurtured between Dublin and Glendalough and the Diocese of Jerusalem.
The funds raised will be used for two specific projects in Al Ahli Hospital; first of all to improve facilities for on-call staff and secondly to install solar panels to ensure a more secure electricity supply for the hospital.
Families throughout Dublin and Glendalough’s 59 parishes are being urged to include an imaginary Gaza guest in their festive gatherings this year to help raise funds for the appeal.
They can contribute by donating the cost of the meal for their Gaza guest and the price of a gift for a loved one.
Parishes, schools, hospitals, organisations and individuals throughout Dublin and Glendalough can also get involved in supporting the appeal by holding an Advent fundraising event for Gaza.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the Advent Appeal, Archbishop Jackson said, “I am delighted that the Diocesan Council for Mission has taken this Appeal for Gaza forward in such an imaginative way.”
“I should encourage everyone across the United Dioceses, in the Season of Advent and Christmas, to think of ways of reaching out across the world in the spirit of Christmas in response to this urgent need for financial support.”
“Please lay a place at your table for someone, just like any of us, as a way of supporting friends abroad and contributing to the reconstruction of the Al Ahli Hospital which itself turns nobody away.”
The Anglican Archbishop of Jerusalem, Archbishop Suheil Dawani explained, “Our medical services are given irrespective of race, religion or ability to pay. We see in each person seeking our services the image and likeness of Almighty God and we affirm through our support the dignity of each individual who comes to us.”
The appeal is being coordinated by the Dublin and Glendalough Council for Mission in partnership with Bishops’ Appeal, the United Society and Friends of Sabeel.
The longer term link between the Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough and the Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East aims to offer friendship and solidarity in a region where the number of Christians is dwindling.
Al Ahli Hospital was built in 1882 by CMS and is owned and controlled by the Diocese of Jerusalem.
The hospital’s vision is to continue providing the finest medical care possible under the most adverse circumstances to the marginalised and vulnerable poor people whose livelihood are threatened by the effect of human-made disaster, with special attention to the refugee and the poorest of the poor. The hospital is committed to building people’s capacity and competence alongside the development and maintenance of an adequate standard of diagnostic and clinical services.
The overwhelming needs in the Diocese of Jerusalem:
• 1.8 million people affected in the Gaza Strip
• Over 2,000 fatalities, of which 1,312 are civilians and 513 of those were children
• Over 10,000 injured (2,877 children 3,061 women)
• 520,000 displaced people housed in UN/government schools or with host families
• 1.5 million people not in shelters with no or extremely restricted access to water
• 10,690 housing units destroyed or severely damaged
• 141 schools damaged
• 5 hospitals shut down
• 24 (at least) health facilities damaged
• 2-4 hours of electricity per day on average
Donations can be made to Bishops’ Appeal either by envelopes which are available in all parish churches or by electronic transfer to IBAN: IE BOFI 9000 1749 8394 99 BIC: BOFIIE2D (reference Gaza).