Anglican charity reaches out to Syrian refugees and vulnerable families in Egypt
The Christian charity Us (formerly USPG) has launched two appeals to encourage Anglicans and other churchgoers in Britain and Ireland to reach out to Syrian refugees and families in crisis in Egypt ...
The Christian charity Us (formerly USPG) has launched two appeals to encourage Anglicans and other churchgoers in Britain and Ireland to reach out to Syrian refugees and families in crisis in Egypt.
The Us Egypt Appeal is raising money to support the work of the Anglican Church in Egypt, which is feeding and supporting vulnerable families caught in the middle of political unrest.
The Us Syria Appeal is being run in collaboration with Embrace the Middle East and will support an ecumenical network of churches reaching out Syria’s two million refugees with food and other essential items.
The Revd Canon Edgar Ruddock, Us Director of Global Networking, said: "While we have a responsibility to wrestle with the very deep issues of history, culture, religion and politics that are the reality of the Middle East today, we have an even stronger moral commitment to stand alongside all who are displaced, and all who are powerless in the face of terrible suffering and hurt.
"To work meaningfully with refugee communities is one small but vital step in working for a wider peace with justice for all."
Fighting in Syria has prompted two million people to seek refuge in neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. The UN has called it the worst refugee crisis since the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
In Lebanon, over 700,000 refugees have joined a population of 4.3 million. Church workers found families crowded together into apartments and tents, and even living in a converted furniture store.
They met a 12-year-old girl whose parents kept her out of school because children were at risk of being hit by sniper fire. When the school was bombed the family fled the country. The girl’s younger brother still has panic attacks when he hears a plane flying overhead.
Another family of 11 made a home in a concrete garbage container that they cleaned out. They eat bread, made with flour they brought from Syria, and the children scour local fields looking for potatoes that the farmers left behind.
The Us Syria Appeal Funds will supply food boxes, and essential items likes bedding and blankets, to refugees of all faiths.
Support for Egyptian families
In Egypt, where people have died on the streets amid a political crisis, the Anglican Church is feeding the poor and vulnerable, providing emergency treatment in hospital, and offering hope through pastoral care.
The church also has a long-term aim to help rebuild communities and livelihoods by putting children in school and giving job skills to young adults.
The Most Revd Dr Mouneer Anis, Bishop of Egypt, said: ‘The Anglican Church in Egypt serves all Egyptians, Muslims and Christians, especially the disadvantaged and marginalised, through our educational, medical and community development ministries.
"We seek to be a light in our society, and we continue to serve our neighbours in the difficult situation which surrounds us."