The Center hosts a library/reading room, coffee facility, seminars/small hall, internet room, and a gift shop. This Center has a project aimed at reviving the connection between different Palestinian communities from Bethlehem and other Palestinian villages and towns.
COIN (Communities of Interaction):
Palestinians have sustained enormous social and economic losses during recent years of occupation and struggle. Currently 58% of the population subsists below the poverty line. Within these difficult conditions Palestinian people are striving to build a democratic nation and have recently held elections that were generally viewed as free and fair. But other factors are essential to a democratic society. These include independent media and a strong vocal civil society that serve as a check to the power of the State.
Contemporary thinking on democracy has emphasized the importance of healthy communication between citizens about the common good. During the past few years the PBS, together with other parts of the civil society, have seen a need for forums and platforms of free interaction within and between different community organizations or between neighboring villages where interaction is weak or not productive.
Within the Palestinian Territories the Palestinian Bible Society (PBS) is an active part of the civil society. PBS partners with churches and a number of secular service organizations to advance PBS programs. Thus, PBS is ideally positioned to prompt and facilitate programs of interaction between community groups. These programs and forums will support positive healthy ways of voicing opinions, elevate the role of the local church in encouraging a democratic society, and promote trust and cooperation between Muslims and Christians.
This project seeks to facilitate positive discourse and service initiatives among local community-based organizations (CBOs). PBS project leaders will host or initiate a number of meetings and forums between CBOs that allow:
- Exchange of experiences;
- Growth of networks;
- Comprehensive discussion of issues important to the community and local people;
- Increased awareness of Christian organizations and churches regarding their role in society.
SET (Social Emotional Training):
SET is the acronym for Social Emotional Training. This project aims to be a tool to help parents, children and teenagers to understand each other better. The program is about recognizing feelings and handling inner emotions. SET teaches how to communicate in a better way, process experiences and strengthen self-esteem.
Programs like SET are needed to address the psychosocial needs of Palestinian children who have been negatively impacted by the ongoing violence and instability in the Palestinian Territories. This project will endeavor to meet needs where there has been a lack of support and direction for the children and youth. Through SET they will learn how to handle the difficult situations in a systematic and healthy way. Since most children go to school, schools are an obvious arena for reaching the children using the SET program.
SET was created by Birgitta Kimber from Sweden. The program’s theory is based on risk and protective factors, and it uses a cognitive behavioral approach. SET uses practical exercises to teach about emotions, empathy, motivation, social competence and self awareness.
SET started as a project under The Palestinian Bible Society (PBS) in January 2007. “Phase one” began at this time and lasted for a year. PBS needed a pilot year in order to figure out whether or not SET could work in a Palestinian context. The results were good.