A mother's plea
Maryam, a strong woman with four small children, is a Christian currently living in a refugee camp in Zahle, about 34 miles from Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. Syria is a dangerous place to be a Christian, many people have faced persecution, and when their home became caught in the crossfire, Maryam and her family had no choice but to flee.
“We ask nothing for ourselves, just a reason to hope for our child”, she says.
Maryam is one of the many people Father Giancarlo Zamengo, General Director of the Messenger of Saint Anthony, met in February this year while visiting a small mission in Zahle, Lebanon, where some Conventual Franciscan friars currently minister to the refugees.
The Franciscan friars
On arrival in Lebanon, Fr. Giancarlo met his old friend, Father César, who is responsible for the presence of the Conventual Franciscans in the region, and who accompanied him throughout his journey.
“Father César and the other Franciscan friars do what they can to provide relief and support to the most needy,” says Fr. Giancarlo. “But Fr. César wants to do more. He wants to give more than simple ‘aid’: he wants to make a lasting difference to the people here.”
The aims of the project
Helped by a network of volunteers the friars will direct the St. Anthony Social Center, which will deliver warm meals and safe, drinkable water, along with much-needed clothing.
The friars and their volunteers will also organize games and amusements for these traumatized children, as well as provide them with valuable psychological assistance to help them heal the inner scars produced by this terrible conflict. Thanks to the St. Anthony Social Center many children will receive warm meals, decent clothing and a Franciscan formation: they will again start to dream of a brighter future!
What you can do with a donation
31$/21£/25€ first aid medical kit
$40/£25/€30 school kit
$60/£40/€50 clothing pack
$130/£80/€100 food pack
$330/£250/€300 1-year job training course