Back in 2009 I joined a group of 18 cyclists travelling from Madaba in Jordan down to the Dead Sea and up the Jordan Valley, eventually crossing into Israel and up to Nazareth, in order to raise money for the Nazareth Hospital.
|Operating Room facilities in Nazareth|
When I was there in '93 the facilities were, while not exactly primitive, hardly up to modern standards. There has been a massive amount of work put in to upgrading things, much of it funded from international fundraising activities, and Nazareth Hospital is now one of the best-performing hospitals in Israel. It is also a shining beacon of coexistence in a very troubled region - a model, perhaps, of how people can put aside their differences and work together for the benefit of all.
But this success is not assured, and has required constant attention. This year, 2016, the Nazareth Trust is holding a sponsored cycle around the Galilee to raise money for the much-needed refurbishment of the Paediatric Ward. Unlike many hospitals elsewhere in Israel, there are no wealthy American donor organisations willing to fund expansion - just hard working people in Israel/Palestine, Europe, USA and Australia, who are trying to make a difference.