Born in Bethlehem

Born in Bethlehem: Baby Ehab

Born in Bethlehem: Baby Ehab

The  Christmas edition of Heart and Soul on the BBC World Service, which comes from Bethlehem, reports on La Creche, or 'the manger', a children's home in Bethlehem run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.  It's one of the very few places in the West Bank where unwanted Palestinian children find a loving home. 

Children like Fares, who was found abandoned in a box near a checkpoint between Bethlehem and Jerusalem; or Ehab, the son of a deaf 16-year-old who was abused by several cousins and neighbours; or Baha, an infectiously cheerful little boy with Down's syndrome whose chances of ever experiencing normal family life are slim. 

Most of these children were conceived out of wedlock.  In a majority Muslim society with a strict honour code, this could spell a death sentence for both mother and child.

At La Creche, desperate young women can give birth in safety before returning to their communities. 

Christopher Landau hears the stories of some of the children at the Creche, and meets those who work tirelessly to give them a good start in life - and who find new hope even at the toughest times precisely through the joy and affection shown by the children in their care.

Join Christopher as he witnesses the unfolding drama of a young woman undertaking her long and perilous journey to Bethlehem - will she make it, and can she deliver her baby in safety?


(from Wednesday 23rd December) 

Information on La Creche and its guest house:  

Transmission times:
Wed 23 Dec 2009  12:32
Wed 23 Dec 2009 16:32
Wed 16 Dec 2009 23:32
Thu 17 Dec 2009 04:32
Sat 19 Dec 2009 05:32
Sun 20 Dec 2009 11:32
The programme can also be downloaded as a podcast, or listened to via the online archive following the link above.

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