13 April 2018
To conclude this week, we want to share an interview from 2013 with our president, Msgr. John E. Kozar, in which he reflects on the tremendous impact of religious sisters in the world CNEWA serves. “They are on the front lines,” he said — and this inspiring video illustrates that beautifully.
A conference at the Vatican this week underscored the importance of sisters:
How can the work of women religious in justice, peace and anti-trafficking efforts be more effectively included into policies at government and international level?
That question was at the heart of a seminar on Wednesday organised by the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, together with the International Union of Superiors General and Solidarity with South Sudan.
Participants spoke of the work of sisters serving in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, seeking to build peace and to empower other women in some of the most deprived and violent countries and socio-economic contexts.
Sisters working to combat trafficking, prostitution and the insidious cyber porn industry, talked of the need to educate girls and boys, as well as working together with governments and all sectors of society to protect the victims and prosecute the perpetrators.
Other sisters shared dramatic and moving stories of staying alongside those who suffer in wars and conflicts, sometimes being targeted, robbed, raped or even killed themselves.
You can see more examples in the March 2018 edition of ONE — with stories of religious sisters ministering to people in a variety of ways in Jordan, Iraq and Ethiopia.
But check out the video below for an intimate glimpse at these dedicated women.
6 April 2018
Tags: Sisters human trafficking
Recent reports indicate the influx of refugees is having a dramatic impact on Lebanon. We’ve been exploring this phenomenon for several years, and in 2015 journalist Raed Rafei profiled Iraqi Christian refugees struggling to stay afloat while being In Limbo in Lebanon:
An estimated 1.5 million refugees, mainly from Syria, reside in Lebanon today, placing a tremendous strain on the country’s infrastructure, as well as its delicate social and political balances. A funding crisis among United Nations aid programs has led to a significant decrease in the level of assistance that refugees receive in the country. And recent popular unrest threatens to make living conditions even worse.
“It’s very hard for Iraqi refugees here,” says Michel Constantin, CNEWA’s regional director for Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. “Their options are very limited.”
Speaking from the organization’s Beirut office, Mr. Constantin says about 3,000 Iraqi Christian families, most from the Chaldean and Syriac communities, have come to Lebanon since August 2014. Most of these refugees now struggle with high costs of living, few opportunities and uncertain prospects.
Through these hardships, churches and church institutions have been a constant source of comfort and material aid, accompanying displaced families through the most difficult time of their lives.
For this Friday’s video, we offer you this dramatic glimpse at a handful of those thousands: an Iraqi Christian family trying to start over in Lebanon. Read the full story here.
16 March 2018
Tags: Iraq Lebanon Refugees Iraqi Christians
This Friday, we look back at a colorful and poignant visit two members of our staff made to the Caucasus last year. It was a remarkable and revealing trip. They encountered places of great history and faith — but also great need.
Watch the video above for more.
Related: ‘This Is the Only Light’
9 March 2018
This week, we feature an interview we did in 2015 with one of our photographers, Ilene Perlman.
Ilene has visited some of the most colorful and exotic corners of CNEWA’s world, and here she describes some of those places she’s seen and photographed. The diversity and drama she’s encountered have made for some of ONE’s most memorable images.
Among other things, the interview is a feast for the eye. Enjoy.
2 March 2018
As the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, and pleas for peace are heard again and again, we were reminded of a story in our magazine from 2014: a Letter from Syria by the Rev. Ziad Hilal., S.J.
He described the terrible and terrifying conditions the people were facing, especially the children, yet concluded: “As a priest, I would like to say our role as a church is to push people toward hope, which should never be abandoned — no matter how unbearable circumstances may seem.”
Last year, he was interviewed for America magazine and echoed that sentiment:
Of course, one gets scared considering all the deaths and violence that are directly affecting this life, but our solid belief helps us defeat this fear, knowing that God is with us no matter what. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ teaches us: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (Jn 14:27). Hope is always stronger than fear.
For this Friday’s video, we offer this profile of Father Ziad that accompanied his letter. Pray for the Syrian people and all those, like Father Ziad, who are seeking to help them.
23 February 2018
In the video above, Msgr. Kozar describes visiting the “unreached” in the northern half of India.
This Friday, we travel with Msgr. John E. Kozar to India, where with words and pictures he recounts a visit he made a few years ago. As he described it in the pages of ONE:
By way of a little background, CNEWA’s work in India focuses on assisting and accompanying the Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara Catholic churches. These churches trace their heritage to the time of St. Thomas the Apostle. As mission-minded churches, its members reach out all over the world, dynamically serving as proclaimers and evangelizers.
But we have concentrated much of our support for these churches in the south — specifically in the state of Kerala. Thanks be to God, the churches in Kerala have flourished; many young men are drawn to the priesthood, and young women, though perhaps in slightly fewer numbers, are becoming sisters. Little by little, the church in southern India is becoming more and more self-sufficient.
But now the great call of these churches is to reach out to the real mission territory of India: The spiritual sons and daughters of the Apostle Thomas have undertaken a new missionary thrust to evangelize the “unreached” in the northern half of India.
Check out the video for an intimate glimpse at life in this corner of the world.
16 February 2018
The video above shows how a daycare center in Georgia is helping give purpose to young lives through out. (video: Antonio di Vico)
This Friday, we visit Caritas Georgia, to see how art therapy is changing young lives at a daycare center.
When we published A Letter from Georgia two years ago, Anahit Mkhoyan, the director of the center, wrote:
I understood that change is one of the most important things in our lives. It helps us to stay humble in the continuous path of learning, it enriches us with knowledge and it makes us tolerant because we see that things can be at once good and bad in different ways and places.
So take a few moments, meet Anahit, and see how change is making a huge difference in some of the youngest people in that corner of the world.
9 February 2018
The video above shows a typical day for workers operating a mobile clinic in Iraqi Kurdistan.
(video: Raed Raphei)
This week, we take you on a remarkable road trip, in a mobile clinic providing physician and pharmacy services to displaced families in Iraqi Kurdistan.
As we reported in 2016:
Funded by CNEWA, the mobile clinic is an initiative of the Rev. Yousif Jamil Haddad, the pastor of the Virgin Mary Syriac Catholic Church in Zakho, a bustling city close to Turkey and a commercial hub for the export of oil from Kurdistan.
“Many refugees are staying in poor, remote villages where they have no access to medical care,” says Father Haddad, explaining the motivations behind the project that began its operations last June.
Today, the mobile clinic visits 22 villages scattered throughout the hilly northern edges of Kurdistan, serving a population of roughly 15,000 internally displaced Christian, Muslim and Yazidi families. Staffed by a doctor, a pharmacist, an administrator and a driver, the van departs from Zakho around 9 a.m., five days a week. Each morning, the van is loaded with supplies stored on the premises of the Syriac Catholic parish. It then makes its way to one or two villages where, typically, the clinic’s doctor provides medical consultation to some 140 patients.
In the daily efforts of this small operation, displaced from all walks of life have found a lifeline — enabling many of the region’s most vulnerable people to reclaim health and hope.
Check out the video above for an up close and personal view.
2 February 2018
The video above illustrates some of the challenges in the marriage between a Lebanese man and a Syrian woman. (video: Raed Rafei)
This week, we end with a love story, and a video about the marriage between a Lebanese man and a Syrian woman in Lebanon.
To learn more about how refugees are faring in Lebanon, often under very difficult circumstances, read Hardship and Hospitality in the June 2017 edition of ONE.
26 January 2018
How can the church reach out to help children in families coping with alcoholism or abuse? Check out the video above to see what’s being done in Kerala, India. (video: by Don Duncan)
This Friday, we’re introducing a new feature on the blog, “Friday Film Festival.” It’s a chance for us to revisit some of our video reports from the last few years and introduce them to a new audience.
These videos, archived at our YouTube channel, offer a rich and varied glimpse into CNEWA’s world, with a chance to see and hear some of those we serve in a way that’s intimate — and sometimes surprising — but always inspiring.
To kick off our feature, we have a video from last year, produced by Don Duncan, showing efforts to save children from families tainted by alcoholism and abuse.
You can read more in our magazine about how the church is Breaking the Cycle among the young in Kerala.
Meantime, click on the video above and watch.