The war in Syria is beginning to die down but the wounds are deep. In as much as we provide emergency supplies; food, water, housing, an equal challenge is to help the people rebuild their lives.
Horrific experiences can be overwhelming, especially for children. Many are spiritually/psychologically distressed and emotionally scarred by all possible abuses including rape, forced marriages, slavery work, food scarcity and minimal access to health or education.
The effects of these experiences are far beyond human capacity to deal with; this is the reason why ACN is determined to help them spiritually and mentally. The Good Samaritan workshops for post war trauma healing for Syrians is one of the initiatives supported by ACN. The courses are held at the Carmelite Sanctuary of the Holy Infant in Jounieh in Lebanon.
“Time does not heal trauma” says the Head of Middle East Section for ACN, Fr. Andrew Halemba “this is why a person must be helped to express suffering and to confront bad memories. If we don’t help Syrian families and communities to recover, who will do it?” Many of them are in a state of depression and attempt suicide.
The trauma caused by the war implies dramatic behavioural changes leading to relationship problems, violence and other mental disorders.
According to his report after a recent trip to the country, “economic sanctions only worsen the situation, and in contrary to the declared objective, these sanctions punish civil society by limiting humanitarian activity in the war-torn country, where 6.6 million people have been internally displaced, and nearly 3 million are in hard-to-reach and besieged areas”.
Local Churches, thanks to international support, are playing a vital role in providing comprehensive relief services.
“Christians in Syria are so humbly attempting to live at peace with their past. But many are spiritually and psychologically distressed and in desperate need to be supported,” says the polish priest.
The Good Samaritan course for trauma healing is carried out in cooperation with local Church partners and laity from other countries. This will not be one event, but a steadfast program, comprising weekly follow-up meetings combined with individual assistance and reinforced with refreshment sessions.
Father Halemba stresses, ACN will do its best to encourage projects, which offer to the children and youth of Syria, an opportunity for hope, both literally and mentally and through sponsorship of: spiritual summer camps, family retreat, summer clubs programs, regional youth days etc. “For many of them it is for the first time in their life they have ever attended such youth events”.
It has been 8 long years since the beginning of the war in Syria, ACN benefactors have so kindly supported our poor and persecuted brothers and sisters with more than 28 million dollars.
We count on your help to continue to provide the needed support to our suffering brothers and sisters, giving them opportunities for hope, both literally and mentally through sponsorship of spiritual summer camps, family retreats, summer clubs programs, regional youth days etc