Established in 1999, “The Living Stones” is a resource center for students of Bir Zeit University providing them with access to academic, cultural, and Christian materials through the use of the internet, a library, a study center, evenings of poetry, film and music, topical seminars, a café, a multi-purpose garden, and Bible studies.
In 2010, the centre introduced two new programs, one for women and the other for the family as a one-unit. Today, women from the village meet twice a week during the morning hours in what is known as the “Living Stones Women’s Café”, a place where these women find refuge, hope and encouragement.
Living Stones Students’ Center and Project:
This project has two distinct components. Throughout the day, the staff work with local youth. They present visual art programs in various schools and organize sports activities, summer camps, youth leadership training and various seminars. In the evening, the staff open the Living Stones Student Center to university students. The center provides these students a place to meet, socialize, use the internet or attend special musical presentations, poetry and prose readings, art exhibitions, and meals during religious holidays.
The people of the Palestinian territories are suffering from socio-economic hardship, and the observed trend is towards a tightening of restrictions for them. Restrictions on the movement of Palestinian goods, workers, businessmen, officials and public service providers have intensified dramatically. This has resulted in an isolation of Gaza, while the West Bank has been divided into small pockets. Checkpoints and roads reserved for settlers physically divide up the area.
Within this context, PBS has identified a number of needs among the youth and university students in the Bir Zeit area. These include:
- Positive role models of servant-leadership.
- Curriculum activities during non-school (open) days.
- Micro-enterprise opportunities
- Time management training.
- Communication and interaction opportunities with people of other faiths or nationalities.