Syria – Country increasingly in difficulty. New initiatives to support young people and families

(ANS – Damascus) – The Syrian civil war represents one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time. The population has shrunk from 21 million to 17 and today 13 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian support, including the more than 6 million internally displaced people – 28% of whom in the capital Damascus alone – in addition to the 3 million who live in hard-to-reach areas. Furthermore, since mid-March, the Syrian government has begun to apply severe restriction measures to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Activities across the country are now profoundly impacted by curfews, movement restrictions, market closures and commercial freezes. The costs of primary goods continue to exceed purchasing power and Syrian families are experiencing a moment of unimaginable economic stress.

To the direct effects of the economic crisis are added school-related problems: schools work in fits and starts, and students (from primary school children to university students) are not equipped to follow lessons from home, and are falling further behind in their studies.

Faced with this situation, the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco in Syria, active in Damascus, Kafroun and Aleppo, are by now used to working in emergency conditions, and have taken action to help families who, already tried by years of war, are now facing the effects of the pandemic.

For this reason they have set up two different support programs for those in academic difficulty: one that will benefit 200 children, and another aimed at 180 students in the last years of high school and university.

Along with these school reinforcement projects, a third has been added: economic support to 200 vulnerable families.

Each initiative is carried out with the objective, proper to the Salesian charism, of taking care of the most disadvantaged minors and offering them those opportunities for development that otherwise they could not achieve

Because, as the Syrian Salesian Fr Pier Jabloyan said during a testimony, “whoever sows terror and pain through war is destined to end up in the garbage heap of history. But whoever stays with those who suffer will be remembered forever.”

For more information, visit the website: 

Agency of salesian news