Products: Cushions, table-runners, purses embroidered with couching stitch ('tahriri')
Beneficiaries: 50 women from 10 villages near Bethlehem
The Women's Child Care Society (WCCS) was established in 1944 in the Christian village of Beit Jala near Bethlehem. In 1948, the villagers organized two first-aid centers and lunch programs to help the casualties of the first Arab-Israeli war and the refugees pouring into Bethlehem.
Over the last five decades, WCCS has grown to serve increasing needs of the community. Today, it runs a nursery, luncheons and activities for senior citizens, youth summer camps, low-cost housing, and an income generation project through the handicraft production.
WCCS currently provides embroidery work for 50 women from 10 villages in the area. The women take fabric and threads home to work while running their households, and bring the finished pieces back to the Society for payment, where seamstresses sew them up to finished products.
WCCS is the only group in Palestine that has preserved the Tahriri, couching stitch embroidery that is unique to the Bethlehem area. The Society has trained 15 women from the village of Tequa', south of Bethlehem, to produce pillow and table runners gorgeously decorated with gold and silver chords twisted into vividly colored threads. It takes six months of training for a woman to become skilled in this special technique.