Last summer in the New York Times I wrote about the importance of school meals for children victimized by the war in Syria. We can do so much more for them, as we did for children in Europe and Asia affected by World War II.
Lebanon is one of the main countries where Syrians have fled to during the last five years of civil war. But once the refugees arrive they face all kinds of challenges just to have the basics of food and shelter. They have little or no resources.
Read my full commentary at The Huffington Post.
Amal is a Syrian mother who fled with her children to Lebanon‘s Bekka Valley. This is the new home for Amal and so many other Syrians who were forced from their homes by the civil war.
These refugees managed to escape the violence. But now they are finding a new nightmare: hunger.
Read more at Examiner.
The Bekaa Valley in Lebanon lies near the border with Syria. It was once a part of the Roman Empire. Today, this valley is one of the escape routes for Syrians fleeing the brutal civil war in their country.
Over one million Syrians have fled into Lebanon, many residing now in the Bekaa Valley. Life is hard for these refugees, who have lost everything.
They are hungry, cold and living through some terrible winters. Even though they have escaped the Syrian battlefield, the shock of war is still with them. They need the helping hand of charity.
Syrians at the Deir al Ahmar informal tented settlements are finding this comfort with the Good Shepherd Sisters and Catholic Relief Services (CRS). The Good Shepherd Sisters run a center for children which provides education and trauma counseling four days a week. Working with CRS, they also provide shelter materials, blankets, heaters and other critical supplies to people living in the camp.
CRS and the Good Shepherd Sisters are feeding 350 children a hot meal each day the center holds classes. This extra meal for children makes a world of difference in keeping malnutrition away.
They are also providing 360 families with food packages. The goal is to expand this food program to reach over 3000 individuals. The food is obtained from nearby suppliers, thus helping the local economy.
CRS and the Good Shepherd Sisters plan to adapt the food package program to a voucher-based plan. This will allow families to purchase their own food at local markets.
Food vouchers give families flexibility into what foods they can obtain. It’s another step toward normalcy, which has been tragically lost for these families in the midst of the war.
Private donations are funding CRS and the Good Shepherd Sisters in their humanitarian work in Lebanon. You can help them by contacting CRS headquarters.