03/13/2017, 13.24
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Fr. Samir Youssef: Lent, a special time to support refugees from Mosul (PHOTOS)

by Samir Youssef

Food, clothes, money, kerosene for heating: These are just some of the many needs. The offensive against the Islamic Republic in recent weeks has generated a new wave of refugees, and needs. The period of preparation for Easter an opportunity "to feel the need of others, and be close to them."

Erbil (AsiaNews) - Food, clothes, money, kerosene for heating, monetary support to allow families permit their children to study, contributing not only to the school fees, but also to the public transport costs. There are many initiatives promoted by the Church in favor of the Iraqi refugees in Mosul and the Nineveh plain, who fled in the summer of 2014 with the rise of the Islamic State (IS) and were welcomed in towns and villages of Iraqi Kurdistan. Many of these are run by Catholic associations and organizations, which do not distinguish between Christians, Muslims and Yazidis, all united in need.

At the head of one of these centers is Fr. Samir Youssef, Iraqi priest who has been on the front since the very beginning of the emergency. He along with others, is the recipient of the donations made through the  AsiaNews campaign "Adopt a Christian from Mosul." But the needs, as the priest says, are many and it is difficult to respond to all the needs. An example? "To distribute food parcels – he writes - for a month to nearly 600 families who do not have any resources or help, we need almost 15 thousand dollars”.

To aggravate the already difficult situation, the offensive under way in Mosul has created hundreds of thousands of new refugees. "Now that we are in the period of Lent - continues the priest - it's time to feel the needs of others, and be close to them".

In this period of preparation for Easter, Fr. Samir’s appeal is an urgent request. Donations can be made by following the campaign "Adopt a Christian from Mosul." The photos in this gallery are the visual testimony of how money offered to the campaign is used on the ground.

Dearest Fr. Bernardo Cervellera,

Firstly, I pray to the Lord you are all well.

The photos I sent regarding our distribution of aid to displaced families housed at Enishke, a mountain village between Zakho and Dohuk. This is where Yazidi, Christian and Muslim families were welcomed and have lived since 2014.

Our parish has been trying to help these families for three years by distributing food parcels, clothes, cash, blankets, kerosene for heating, medicines and many other materials necessities. In addition, we seek to contribute to the education of children by supporting the expenses so that they can attend school.

In the pictures you see the distribution of kerosene, food, blankets for the Yazidi children living in our village Enishke.

In order to do all that we can, we count on the contribution of a group of my parish volunteers. We can respond to these basic needs, thanks to the money that is sent to by you and other communities.

However, we are not always able to access these aid programs. An example: to distribute food parcels for a month to nearly 600 families who do not have any resources or help, and we need almost 15 thousand dollars. We too sometimes encounter difficulty receiving aid or money. This happens, in essence, for two reasons: the first reason is that many organizations are helping families fleeing Mosul because of the offensive underway. And the second reason ... I'll explain it later, because the situation is delicate!

That said, there is always something that comes to our rescue, there's always a hand from the Lord Who keeps us and never leaves us alone. Thanks to you and to all those who believe in the love of God, who works and works without complicating things. I do not know if we can continue our service to our neighbors who suffer, but what I know and believe is that, tomorrow like today, we will do all in our power to that no one who is experiencing times of trouble are left alone.

Especially now that we are in the period of Lent, which is the time to feel the needs of others, and be close to them. And to experience the love of God, in the most concrete way.

My thanks to all of you.

With a fraternal embrace in Christ.

Fr. Samir Youssef.

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See also
Iraqi priest thanks AsiaNews for its solidarity against ISIS destruction (photos)
29/05/2017 16:09
Pastor of Amadiya: Mosul’s Christian refugees, torn between emergency aid and the longing to return home
23/11/2016 14:42
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": A Christmas gift to survive winter
23/11/2016 15:47
Letter from Archbishop of Mosul: Thank you for your aid, supporting the plight of refugees
Louis Sako: Two years on from expulsion of Christians from Mosul and Nineveh
04/08/2016 12:14


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