The Cambridge/Bethlehem People-to-People Project (CBPPP) was formed in 2007 to find a human way to address the circumstances facing Palestinians
Bethlehem is a place known throughout the world for its historical, religious and cultural significance. Greater Bethlehem (which includes Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Beit Sahour and smaller villages) is losing contact with much of the outside world, creating a dire economic and humanitarian crisis and a profound loss of hope for the future. Tourism, one of the keys in welcoming people to the significance and beauty of the area, has ground to a halt, forcing many to leave the area to survive. The construction of the wall and by-pass roads inside the area have cut many of the local people off from access to their own schools, health care and olive groves, furthering poverty and despair. The people of Bethlehem (those still living there and the diaspora) have reached out to the international community to help end this social and economic isolation, inviting communities from around the world to establish and maintain relationships with the people and organizations of their area and help to “re-open Bethlehem” to the global community.
In keeping with Cambridge’s identity as a city of many cultures and many communities with a strong history of building peace through relationships with peoples and organizations around the globe for the purpose of understanding, mutual exchange and humanitarian response, we have initiated connection of Cambridge with Greater Bethlehem. The goal is to foster deeper and wider awareness of the situation facing Greater Bethlehem through people-to-people contacts, to promote mutually beneficial exchanges and to extend humanitarian support in this time of grave difficulty.