“My job, our job here, is to give peace of mind and security to children and people in vulnerable circumstances.” Br. George Sabé, a Marist Brother working in Aleppo.

In 2011 when the war started in Syria, I asked to the Provincial Brother to allow me to return to Aleppo, my hometown, to be close to my people. Inspired by the Marist Charism, we founded the Blue Marists with a Syrian couple. Our main mission was not to stand idly by in the face of the horrible situation of the displaced and people in vulnerable conditions but to sow hope.

From 2011 until today, the Syrian population has suffered from war, Covid 19 and Western sanctions. Suffering means bombed schools, lack of jobs, extreme poverty, emigration of young people, displacement of millions of people out of or into the Country, and destruction of buildings and entire villages. Sometimes it means completely cutting off water for months, it means rationing electricity for up to two hours a day. The list can go on. We have gone from a producing population to a needy population, a population mostly below the poverty level. In addition, there is the psychological situation and, above all, the loss of hope.

The Marist response was energetic, quick, and efficient. Our principle has been very clear since the early days of the war: listen to the suffering of the population and help the families in the most vulnerable condition. The anti-fragility, for me, has been to face these difficulties together with my people and my community, trying, united, to improve our living conditions, both physically and mentally. The most important thing is to bring some light into these dramatic situations. What is important is to offer hope in the midst of the psychological, human and economic darkness that my people are experiencing. People are suffering a lot; we must bring light after this trauma.

“My task, our task here in Aleppo, is to give peace and security to children and people in vulnerable conditions”. The Blue Marists are 155 young volunteers working in various programmes: education, development, emergencies, and psychological support. From the very beginning, we felt we had to prepare our population for the future: a future of peace and non-violence, and we believe this is only possible through education. Preparing for the future means having a job that allows people to live with dignity, earn a living and participate in the economic reconstruction of the Country. Preparing for the future means supporting young people and adults with trauma to have balanced mental health. This is how the SEEDS (Support Emotional Expression Development Skills) project was born, a name that sums up the Marist mission in Aleppo: to support the emotional development of the population affected by the armed conflict.

All our actions come from the heart, we want to bring peace and hope. We want the future to be human, without prejudice.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.