Syria winter clothes appeal
Irish Jesuits International are inviting people to support the Syria Winter Clothes Appeal » to help keep a Syrian child warm this Christmas. Syrian children are at risk of hypothermia because they do not have adequate clothing. For their parents, this threat to their lives is a bigger worry than the war.
Laura, a mother of a young child, is dreading the winter ahead. With the limited income of the family, she has to choose between baby milk and heating fuel. “I can choose to spend money on four hours of heating or baby milk to stretch for a month – of course I will choose the baby milk.”
Millions of families like Laura face similar desperate dilemmas. They can only live in hope that the winter will not be cold or that winter is short.
Irish Jesuits International are supporting the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) which is distributing winter clothing kits this Christmas to more than 2,000 children who attend their education programmes.
Irish Jesuit Tony O’Riordan works with the Jesuit Refugee Service in Syria. In a podcast interview, he said, shockingly, that Syrians have told him they feel they were better off when the country was being bombed because at least then they were not forgotten.
Poverty is rampant, he says, with parents choosing between taking life-saving medicine for themselves or buying bread to feed their children. They are in a state of depression, seeing no end in sight to the trauma visited on them by external forces – so severe that it would stay with them even if their poverty was eradicated in the morning, according to Tony.
In the midst of all this the Jesuit Refugee Service is running programmes which give some hope to the Syrians who can avail of the services. JRS, says Tony, provides medical treatment for about 40,000 Syrians each year. Click here to listen to the podcast interview with Tony O’Riordan SJ ».