The Vincentian Family has initiated fund-raising activities on behalf of the victims of the recent tragedy in Lebanon. The initiative that is called from our heart to the heart of Lebanon was created to support the work of the Vincentians in Beirut: the Lebanese Vincentian Family immediately went to work, providing shelter for the homeless, caring for the poor, tending to the wounded and feeding those in need. Ribel Elías, President of MISEVI International states: As a lay Vincentian missionary, I had just begun to work with families and individuals in need and with other Vincentian institutions that were seriously affected by this tragedy, when the Congregation of the Mission (CM), the Daughters of Charity (DC), the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP), the Vincentian Marian Youth (VMY), the International Association of Charity (AI), the Lay Vincentian Missionaries (MISEVI) and the other branches of the Vincentian Family also began to work together in order to move beyond these difficult days. Father Tomaẑ Mavriĉ, CM, President of the Executive Committee of the Vincentian Family, stated: at the same time that each one of us begins to activate our different channels of solidarity, I would like to propose that as a family, we respond in a coordinated manner to this disaster. We have seen that Pope Francis immediately sent 250.000 euros in order to help the church in Lebanon. As Vincentians, could we consider offering a similar large donation in order to assist the poor and the homeless in Lebanon.
The FamVin Homeless Alliance (FHA) is involved in fund-raising in the name of the Vincentian Family in Lebanon in order to provide housing, food, medical care and materials to repair damaged homes. An anonymous donor has offered FHA an initial gift of $50,000.00 on condition that other donors match this gift. Before the explosion, the people of Lebanon had to confront economic difficulties and now as a result of COVID-19, the people are living in the midst of a situation characterized by a tremendous increase in poverty throughout the country.
Said Safar, a members of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and the liaison for fund-raising for the Vincentian Family in Lebanon stated: young people in Lebanon are discouraged, sad, concerned, wanting to emigrate and struggle for the future … all the sadness here is the result of the bad economic situation, the political situation and the devaluation of the Lebanese money … there is no school, no university … more than 60% of the people are poor, there is a high rate of inflation and more than 60% of the people are unemployed. The explosion in Beirut has killed our hope … we confront this period with the hope that there will be a change. God is love and will not abandon us. With regard to the Vincentian Family, we are working together like a family in order to help the many countless families that have been affected by this explosion. Today, more than ever before, the homeless in Beirut and the Vincentians need all the support that is possible.
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