ARCORES continues to collaborate with SED and the Blue Marists in Aleppo after the earthquake in Syria and Turkey. The Brothers no longer have people affected by the earthquake in their facilities.
As the weeks passed after the earthquake, they began leaving due to various reasons. In the best of cases, some were able to return to their homes; We only had to make some repairs and/or buy basic belongings that had been destroyed in the earthquake.
Some of the families that have lost their homes have entered the rental program that the Marists are carrying out, and begin to live in a rented house that is paid for with part of the aid received (some thanks to the solidarity of all of us in ARCORES).
Others have stayed with relatives and, in some sporadic cases, have been transferred to other reception points with other associations or social and religious entities that provide this service.
The earthquake made the situation worse
The projects that are covering the needs of people affected by the earthquake, in some cases, have already been developed since war times, but have had to be maintained or intensified. The earthquake only worsened the situation of the population.
Some of the projects they are developing are more of a welfare nature, such as the monthly distribution of food to families with few resources, or the distribution of daily hot food to people over 80 years of age or sick people who live alone, because their families cannot care for them or they had to leave.
The Marists are also carrying out education and training projects for young people and adults who have lost their businesses or are unemployed. These people have the possibility of presenting a business microproject to request help and be able to get it started.
These projects are reviewed and approved by a committee of experts, who study their viability and, if approved, small credits are provided to get them started. During this process they are accompanied by a tutor who helps and advises them.
In the specific case of women, many find an opportunity through training in the textile field of cutting and sewing, receiving the skills to be able to work in this sector or, at least, to be able to make clothes for their family and save money when purchasing it.
The Marist Brothers also have educational programs in place for children under 5 years of age whose parents cannot afford to pay for nursery school and need to acquire basic skills in all areas, including socio-emotional, in order to later access education with the greatest foundations possible.
In most of the projects, they have a transversal program called Semillas (seeds), for psychosocial support for children and adults, where they work from the management and recognition of emotions to individual support.
Tired but hopeful
The Blue Marists are mentally well, but they are tired from everything they have experienced. Despite everything, they never lose hope. They have not lost the family spirit at any time and, above all, the conviction that their mission is to continue meeting the needs of all the people they serve in their programs.
Its objective is that the population can live in the most dignified way and that they are able to move forward without having to leave the country, with the hope that Aleppo and the rest of the country can return to what it was, although that will be after a long time.
They also feel very grateful and supported since they suffered the war for years and after the earthquake. They highlight that, above the financial contributions received, there is the bond they feel with so many people who have been concerned about the situation in Aleppo. They have received thousands of messages of support from many people showing their empathy and brotherhood with them. That pushes them to continue every day.
Here you can see a documentary of the work of the Blue Marists in Aleppo:
To collaborate with the Blue Marists in Syria, you can do so through these means: