Home is important to us all. It may be the house you grew up in, the church you attended, or the school you most loved. By definition, home is the place that you live, but I think it can be much more than that. So, what happens when your home is torn apart by war? There has been a civil war raging in Syria since March of 2011. At the beginning of September 2013, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the total number of deaths at 110,371 and climbing. While this number is numbing, there are also the numbers of people who are fleeing and trying to move away from the conflict. UN-OCHA says there are more than 4.25 million people that are internally displaced, and 6.8 million in need of humanitarian assistance. These refuges are flooding into neighboring countries like Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, and Lebanon seeking a peace that is eluding their home.
These facts are disheartening from a place that has been essentially cut off from the world, but there is good news coming from this area. The Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD) has been working with some of these displaced people to meet immediate needs. Through partner organizations, 900 families were assisted with NFI (non-food item) distributions. This meets the needs of 4,500 individuals. This project seeks to provide access to health and mental health services and supplies, like blankets and hygiene items, on a regular basis to families. Most families who receive this service have two to three children and share an apartment with another family or extended family members. At times, there can be 10-12 persons in one apartment. An increasing number of families don’t have the money to pay for basic necessities, let alone education costs, rent, and transportation. LSESD seeks to begin the process of rebuilding lives through this program. We pray that one day it will soon be safe for many of these refugees to return home, but until then, we are grateful for the partners that seek those who have been cast out.