Syria and Cuba: We are with you

On the last day of 2012 our thoughts and efforts are still with the people suffering from war and natural disasters. Dramatic news is arriving from Syria and Cuba.

From Aleppo, Syria. “Gasoline continues to be lacking, and what little can be found is sold at exorbidant prices. The same is true for oven gas tanks (5,500 LS compared to 400 LS in March). The electricity has been cut for days and days, leaving the city in a threatening darkness after sunset. Bread is also scarce and it can only be purchased after spending long hours in line, in front of baker’s shops and paying 250 LS for one package (compared to the March price of 20 LS). The army is trying to provide bread, but isn’t able to keep up with the need of the people. School buildings that have not been transformed into havens for refugees are continuing to hold classes. But the lack of electricity makes studying toilsome and difficult (there aren’t even candles anymore). Some have begun to fall ill because of the cold and lack of medicines. Nearly 70% of the pharmacies are on the outskirts of the city and it is quite difficult to obtain medicines from other regions of the country beacuse of road blocks. It is feared that hospitals will soon be unable to continue providing care because oxygen begins to be lacking. Telephone communications are often interrupted. In spite of it all the population is giving quite a great witness of solidarity. The Focolare community and others are bringing ahead support activities: a small school for the deaf has begun to work again in a safer quarter, in some locations that hae been provided by the Franciscan Fathers. The families that we are visiting one by one, ask us before agreeing to receiving any assistance from us: ‘But isn’t there some other family that is more in need than we are?’ Rim, who has a two year old boy, was quite concerned that the boy’s cold would worsen, and he was very touched by the help that we were able to provide! It was exactly the same amount of money that her husband had given away a week earlier to a colleague who was in need. It had taken the couple a long time to save up that amount of money, but they had said to each other: ‘God will take care of us!’”

From Santiago, Cuba. “The destruction caused by hurricane Sandy has caused much damage especially in Santiago. Reconstruction has not yet begun because the Government had also been taken by surprise. Indeed because of the geographical landscape of Santiago which is encircled by mountains, hurricanes usually arrive from the sea and, blocked by the natural barrier formed by the mountains, generally move away without leaving any damage. In this case the hurricane managed to enter and remained inside for three hours (a great length of time), spinning like a kitchen blending machine. The damages suffered by sixteen families who are near to us amount to some 42,000 Euros. The monies gathered through the United World Project, though insufficient, have been handed over to them. The timing for the reconstruction is difficult to estimate because it is linked to finding the matarials and the embargo that has afflicted the island for many years. They are usually available for short periods only and not all at once. Only some cement, some wood or some iron has arrived. When the required materials do arrive, it is necessary to have the required funds on hand in order to be able to purchase them before the supply runs out. We are grateful for the assistance we’ve already received as we continue to hope in everyone’s future support.” To know more or to support the project:  

Associazione Azione per un Mondo Unito

presso Banca Popolare Etica, filiale di Roma.

Codice IBAN: IT16G0501803200000000120434


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