ACN Malta launches national “Drop of Milk” appeal for Aleppo children
Aid to the Church in Need (Malta) has just launched a national “Drop of Milk” appeal for the people of Malta to help children in Aleppo. This is part of a major initiative sponsored by international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).
Since the start of the conflict, ACN has been channeling urgent help for Christians in Syria. The local project partners are now addressing a very urgent issue: milk for children in Aleppo.
The aim of the “Drop of Milk” project is to provide a certain amount of milk every month to children in Aleppo under the age of ten. As food in Aleppo is still scarce, the milk is essential for the growth and wellbeing of children. The project is greatly appreciated by all the Christian Churches in Aleppo since it is the only programme which helps children regardless of their rite or church. It is an ecumenical program.
“We distribute milk every month to about 2 850 children: 2 600 receive powdered milk and 250 receive special milk for infants. Babies, not breastfed by their mother, receive a special infant’s milk. The total number of beneficiaries varies every month depending on the number of births and emigration of the families” explains Dr. Nabil Antaki, the Syrian doctor who is coordinating the milk project.
Georgina, a mother of three children, explains how important the project is for her and her family: “Myriam is ten years old; Pamela is six. We are one of the beneficiaries of “A Drop of Milk” project. Both Myriam and Pamela get one kilogram of milk powder every month. Pamela’s health was critical when she was hit by bomb shrapnel in her back, and now that she is recovering, she needs milk to become healthier and stronger. This project is very important for me and my family and I’d really like it to continue.”
The ‘Drop of Milk” program has been ongoing since May 2015 but the financing for this vital project is running out. Aleppo is not in the media anymore and people in Europe are not aware of the current situation in the city. However, conditions are still deplorable – 80% of the population of Aleppo is displaced and 70% live below the poverty line. The number of families in need of food parcels to survive has increased dramatically.
Dr. Nabil Antaki has approached ACN for support to be able to continue running the milk program. The children of Aleppo, already deprived of education and a happy childhood, should not be deprived of milk needed for their growth and health. ACN International has therefore assured Dr. Antaki of our help for the children of Aleppo and promised to give € 18,750 per month this year – a total of € 225,000.