We are proposing that this month you aid the Parish of Our Lady of Hope located in the town of Qatana about 30 kilometres to the south-west of the Syrian capital. Situated on the Cheikh valley, this town is a military stronghold of the Baas regime currently in power.
This small town is made up of approximately 2000 families of very diverse ethnic backgrounds: Moslems, Sunnites, Alaouites, Druzes, as well as Christians - catholic and orthodox, who have been living together here for decades. The inhabitants are equally represented by the different faiths.
The Parish of Our Lady of Hope aids approximately 150 needy catholic families thanks to prayer meetings, a catechism centre, a young scout group and various activities for young people. In addition to these are also welfare and humanitarian vocational activities organised for the poorest families affected by the conflict in Syria.
Throughout the conflict, a majority of families have made the choice to stay in the village despite the inherent difficulties associated with the conflict which have affected the population for more than three years. The Parish has played an important role alongside these families in encouraging them to stay, as well as supporting them in their choice so that they do not feel abandoned, as has been the case in other Syrian towns.
During the Summer, some activities for the children of Qatana were organised at the Church and in the neighbouring villages. Currently a project has been launched for the creation of a creche for the youngest children which will guarantee their intellectual and cultural development.
An agreement has been reached with the Parish that the donations gathered will benefit about a dozen families in the village, with a maximum of CHF 500 per family. In addition, a donation of CHF 1000 to the Parish itself will permit the development of current projects. Coup de pouce relies, therefore, on your support and generosity to aid these families and encourage them to stay in their village.