The West has forgotten the people of Syria because of the coronavirus, Sister Annie Demerjian told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in need.
With ACN’s help, Sr Annie and others are making a little go a very long way. A leading project partner for ACN, Sr Annie said there is still much to do to get the country back into recovery, after the coronavirus emergency derailed efforts.
“Everybody knows we are coming out of a very difficult situation, the civil war,” she said, “people start breathing, the remaining Christians are beginning to stand on their feet.”
“Then the pandemic came and people collapsed. It’s a big burden – no work, no jobs,” she continued. “Syria is like someone who has had a serious operation and he needs to heal, he needs to recover,” she said, “and he suddenly doesn’t have time to recover.”
Between the civil war, the economic sanctions and the pandemic, the people are struggling in abject poverty – with limited gas, electricity and food. “Only every couple of hours we get one hour of electricity,” she said, “that is not enough to heat a house.”
“There is not enough gas to cook food,” she went on. And often they haven’t any food.
“Many times we receive calls, people are hungry, they have nothing to eat,” she said.
With the help of ACN, Sister Annie has provided 26,000 children with anoraks for the often subzero winter months.
ACN has helped Sister Annie provide anoraks for more than 26,000 children for the winter months where temperatures can dip below zero.
“A father cannot buy his child an anorak,” she said, explaining that one of the articles can cost more than as a year’s salary for a working man. “Our campaign was for families who find it impossible to help their children,” and ACN’s support has helped her help thousands of young ones. “Even in this difficult time, the benefactors of ACN didn’t stop supporting us. I will pray for the benefactors and the workers of ACN – you are doing amazing, amazing work.”
“You cannot imagine the joy in the faces and eyes of the children when they were given the anoraks,” Sr Annie said. “ACN funded this.”
The anorak campaign also provided some small economic stimulus.
“40 shops and factories made the anoraks,” Sr Annie told ACN. “We had two goals: creating jobs and distributing anoraks to our children in this harsh winter.”
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