It is quite amazing to see how people all over the world responded to the fire of Notre-Dame de Paris. The collective heartfelt emotion was real and the spontaneous financial efforts to help rebuild the cathedral is inspiring.
In Syria, significant challenges remain to rebuild the country after eight years of war has damaged or destroyed the lives and homes of millions of people.
MERATH encourages and supports churches in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, to be “repairers of broken walls” in the Biblical sense: by caring for the hungry and the afflicted, helping them move from grief and loss to experience the surprise of a new life ahead.
Our recovery programs in Syria enable many people not only to survive, but to have renewed hope that the future holds something better and brighter for them.
Rehabilitating homes to rebuild lives
Our local church partners in Syria are seeking to expand their service to their communities by responding to the desperate need for housing. With support from MERATH, they started rehabilitating dwellings, enabling needy families to live in their homes once more.
Under this program, families receive a certain level of material support to make their dwellings habitable once again. Community members help provide labor to renovate the properties and are compensated for their efforts.
By providing safe homes to live in and much needed work for local people, MERATH and its local church partners are enabling vulnerable Syrian families, who have been through so much pain and hardship, to rebuild their lives and look to the future.
Reaping the harvest of working the land again
As a result of the conflict, many rural Syrians have been deprived of their livelihoods in the agricultural sector, which provided employment to 47% of the population before 2011. Our pilot agriculture project helped 200 vulnerable farmers return to their fields and cultivate the land again. The farmers were extremely enthusiastic about the project, which quickly helped bring their distressing economic situation to an end. Large quantities were indeed harvested and good profit was generated. New job opportunities were created, especially for young men and women in the villages. Project staff suggest there could even be a link between the project and a decrease in children in the area leaving school because their families could now afford to pay school fees. We are currently working on a similar project in another village in Syria, helping an additional 200 farmers cultivate their lands once again.
“We did not dream something like this could happen. We had the land, the water, and the necessary expertise. All it needed was this first push you gave us!” Ghassan, a farmer benefiting from the project