The roots of the Sana Foundation go back to 1980, when a delegation of the Maranatha Student Church from Tilburg, a town in the Southern part of Holland, visited Nazareth and met with the Palestinian population. Nazareth is the largest Palestinian-Arab town in Israel and it has a mixed population of Palestinian Christians and Muslims.
The Maranatha delegation included three people that became instrumental in starting the scholarship initiative: Father Wilfried Kok, Siny Bootsma, who was supervisor for nurses for mental handicapped and Wil Verheggen, a general practitioner. When they witnessed the hardships Palestinians were facing, they decided to establish a foundation to support the Palestinian-Arab community in Israel with very targeted, project-based help.
The foundation was named “Friends of Nazareth”, as it was in Nazareth where the founders first met with the Palestinian-Arab community and became aware of its ongoing challenges.