We want a peaceful world. May no effort be spared in guaranteeing humanitarian assistance to those wounded by this terrible conflict, in particular those forced to flee and the many refugees in nearby countries. May humanitarian workers, charged with the task of alleviating the sufferings of these people, be granted access so as to provide the necessary aid. Pope Francis, September 1, 2013Answering the Pope’s appeal to all people of good will, AVSI and OASIS, a center for interreligious dialogue, organized a prayer between Christians and Muslims in the Marj el Kok tent camp in Lebanon, which is home to over 1,000 Syrians who have been forced to flee the conflict. The moment of prayer brought together Christians and Muslims, Syrian refugees and Lebanese members of the host communities, on Saturday September 7 a day when people around the world was fasting and praying together.
“A few intense minutes” Niccolò Giancarli, who has recently joined AVSI staff in Lebanon, tells us “We were next to each other and while everything around reminded us of war – from newspapers to our geographic location – we felt an incredible strength and a deep feeling of unity, brotherhood, peace”, which has been shared through a minute of “noisy” silence interrupted by a final applause.
Mohammad, a Syrian refugee living in the Marj el Kok camp, at the end of the day concluded “I hope we will be able to go back to Syria soon but don’t leave us alone now! Living as a refugee is really hard”.
In Ivory Coast, people in 7 Districts of Abobo together with the young beneficiaries of the “New Horizons” project, implemented by the European Union and AVSI, joined the universal prayer. Among the participants: the Imam of Abobo, representatives from a decentralized structure of the Ministry of Solidarity (CES), the community radio of Abobo, which promoted the initiative at the local level, some “gardiens de la paix” related to the local Justice and Peace Commission and trained within the "New Horizons" project. It was a significant moment because Abobo is one of the most violent district of Abidjan, and praying for peace in such a context cannot be taken for granted.
Many other people from around the world shared this gesture of peace by organizing various activities, including Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at the Columbia University in New York, the rock band The Sun, reporters, actors and the AVSI Point network of volunteers.
As long as there is a need, AVSI will continue its#10forSyria campaign that has already raised over €130,000 and helped 13,000 Syrians living in Lebanon or Jordan:
- 2,875 people received kits to survive the cold of winter 2102-2013
- 4,367 people received emergency supplies
- 5,180 packages of food distributed to 1,183 families
- 100 parents involved in awareness-raising activities to promote health and hygiene
- 308 children enrolled in remedial classes to help attend Lebanese schools
- 676 children participating in games and activities to help overcome crisis trauma
- 22 vulnerable families paired with a psychologist and team of social workers for care
- 3 new babies delivered in a hospital and 1 life-saving surgery paid for with donations
- Support #10forSyria and give 10 euro to continue helping the refugees: