The President of Caritas Lebanon R.F. Paul Karam held a press conference at Caritas headquarters in Sin El Fil to launch the “Solidarity and Partnership Campaign For Lent 2019”.
“The time is now. We can’t watch it go by and do nothing. We pray for God’s help in taking the first step towards true repentance, in ridding ourselves of selfishness and in following Jesus’ philosophy by helping our brothers and sisters in need and sharing our blessings with them.” said R.F. Karam.
“In the Bible, Jesus’s love for the weakest such as children and the elderly, as well as marginalized, underprivileged and abandoned people clearly shows spiritualism and materialism. Let us be there for those who went through a lot of hardships and were victims of difficult circumstances. Let us take away their pain and help them gain their most basic of rights to live like the rest of us with dignity, respect, justice and equality. Let us leave a permanent mark in their heart and soul. Let us open the eyes of every generous soul to the necessity of solidarity; plant the seeds of hope and build a bridge between the financially sound and the needy, for sharing our blessings to achieve social justice is the best road towards fraternity and humanity.”
“The Solidarity and Partnership Campaign For Lent 2019 addresses all kindhearted people and invites them to show their love for God and their faith through daily good deeds. Remember the words of Mother Teresa when she said that the needy felt alive when they knew that there was someone thinking about them. Acts of kindness and generosity are the key to going to Heaven and they should be an integral part of our existence. ”
“Our activities during the Lent Campaign which is set to start in early March and end in late April 2019 will be filled with acts of kindness. Last year, we provided 400 thousand healthcare services to 38 thousand Lebanese beneficiaries in 10 health centers; we visited all Lebanese regions and towns providing primary medical services to patients; and we offered social services to more than 10 thousand Lebanese beneficiaries – both men and women – through our 35 regional offices. We were able to reach all age categories and meet their different humanitarian and medical needs. In addition, we carried out countless initiatives to stress the necessity of solidarity with our fellow citizens.”
“Through the Third Age Program, and the weekly friendship gatherings, we were able to heal so many wounds. On the educational level, Caritas fosters and accompanies 360 children with special needs and learning difficulties at its 4 humanitarian centers (Fghal, Jbeil, Zahle, and Al-Qunaytirah –Beit Shabeb and Shawalik- Labaa), as well as 391 male and female students in its joint project at Zahle’s Institute for Education and Technical Training.”
“As for development, Caritas organized many programs (agricultural, industrial, and touristic) funded by the American Development Agency in the purpose of developing local societies. 24 projects were organized within the framework of the BALADI Program and 75,000 people benefitted from them. In addition, Deir al-Ahmar’s food factory provided 35 job opportunities to women who helped more than 50 farmers in the area, and an additional 2000 people benefitted from small loans thanks to Caritas’ collaboration with the Bank of Beirut. Throughout this campaign, you will meet more than 700 of Lebanon’s finest young men and women in the streets. Together, they managed to organize over 700 social, cultural, musical, artistic, and developmental activities for children, youth, and the elderly at parishes, schools, and universities. Nearly 25 thousand people benefited from these activities. As for foreigners, refugee workers (4 shelter centers), and the thousands of Syrian and Iraqi migrants whose needs and misery have been burdening Lebanon since 2011, we would like to emphasize that the cross-cutting support they receive is provided to them by the projects funded by Caritas’ worldwide network, and by UN Agencies, as well as governmental and non-governmental institutions, and local and international NGOs.”
R.F. Karam then called the audience to “believe that through our solidarity, we will contribute to the alleviation of pain and oppression. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of many. Only then will we prove our generosity and will we realize that there’s a secret to our happiness: “to help, to love, to give.”
He also called the audience to “participate in the Campaign Launch Mass with the Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, in which the President of Caritas International, Cardinal Antonio Tagle will be present. The Mass will be held on Friday, March 1st at 5 PM at the Patriarchal Seat in Bkerké.”
At the end of the ceremony, a documentary under the title “The Joy of Kindness, Experience it With Us” was played to showcase Caritas’ activities.
Members of Caritas Lebanon Youth will be stationed across Lebanon to collect donations until April 29th and for your online donations, kindly visit this link http://caritas.org.lb/get_involved/donate