ISRAEL: Construction of New Oil-Press Increases Productivity, Funds for Salesian Programs
(MissionNewswire) The construction of an oil-press at the Salesian Monastery and Winery in Cremisan is helping to promote the economic growth and social development of the disadvantaged population of Bethlehem. The ongoing commitment of the Salesians and volunteers from the International Volunteers for Development (VIS) has advanced the success of this project.
Wine production at the Cremisan Salesian Monastery and Winery provides work for close to 20 families in the area and sustains the education and social development activities of the Salesians in the Holy Land.
The new oil-press was made possible by a collaboration between VIS, Stefano Cimicchi, the former Mayor of Orvieto in Umbria, Italy, Paulo Morbidoni, Vice President of the “Oil City” Association, and the Farchioni family, owners of an important oil-mill in Umbria. Renato Rondina, the owner of a factory by the same name that operates in north Umbria, has been named a benefactor along with the Rapanelli Company Foligno, famous for olive-oil extraction expertise. These resources have provided technical and organizational support in setting up the oil-mill.
The Salesian community in Bethlehem can now rely on the modern mill which can crush the approximately five hundred quintals of olives produced each year at Cremisan. The new mill provides hope that olive culture activities will be at excellent performance levels and produce quality oil.
This initiative is part of the project to revive the Cremisan Winery, a project which began in 2008, thanks to the efforts of VIS together with Dr. Cimicchi and winemaker Riccardo Cotarella.
The proceeds from the sale of the Cremisan wines are used to provide scholarships for disadvantaged youth and to support the Salesian training school which has taken the place of an old orphanage. In Cremisan, the Salesian Sisters manage a kindergarten, a primary school and a youth center. The Salesians have been present in Cremisan, serving the local population since 1891.
“The oil-mill directly benefits the workers in the Cremisan Winery and local farmers, given the increased volume of production and sales,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Mission, the U.S. arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Revenue from the cellar will cover the cost of training activities and the production of bread, impacting students attending Salesian educational centers and poor families who receive free bread from the oven run by the Salesians in Bethlehem,” adds Fr. Hyde.
A recent YouTube video clip shows the Cremisan oil-mill already in operation.
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