Sister Brigida Maniurka with the Faith & Light community of the Parish of St. Francis that gathers the disabled in Aleppo.

A letter to the “Faith & Light” community & the disabled in Aleppo 

Polish “Faith & Light” communities have compiled a letter to the disabled in Aleppo. The community of the Latin Parish of St. Francis in the western part of Aleppo in Syria. The letter was written on Good Friday, as a response to The Maitri Movement’s appeal for help, by Ms Joanna Koczot, vice coordinator of The International Association of Faith and Light.
Whatever we are writing in here, is nothing comparing to the fear of tomorrow that you experience. It is only the great faith that will enable you to navigate your way through these difficult times. We want you to know that you all hold a special place in our hearts. Please do not give up. You are so much closer to God when suffering even though it is extremely difficult to grasp it in a great hardship like yours. Our prayers constantly go out to you during your time of need, we pray for you, for your families, and for your unwavering strength – Ms Joanna Koczot writes.

The aid for the people in Aleppo

Polish “Faith & Light” communities, founded by Jean Vanier, combined their efforts to raise funds for the disabled in Aleppo. We can read further in the letter:
We demonstrate our commitment through actions in addition to the prayers. We continue to support you financially through different Polish organisations. Not long ago Polish “Faith & Light” communities forwarded some funds for people with disabilities in Aleppo, through The Solidarity Movement of Maitri and Sister Brygida who works in Aleppo. Pomeranian communities: 1,100 PLN, Warsaw communities: 1,600 PLN, Cracow communities: 1,500 PLN, Szczecin communities: 750 PLN, community of Dominika Bis from Jaworzno: 3,200 PLN. Some of our members also contribute monthly through other organisations.
The letter has been delivered to the Parish of St. Francis by Maitri through Sister Brygida Maniurka – who is organising the support for the disabled from the funds of the Maitri Movement. Joanna Koczot, the author of the letter, is suggesting as well to get in touch directly with the community in Aleppo through email. The letter in full is located here.

What is happening in Aleppo today?

The Parish Priest Ibrahim Alsabagh of St. Francis in Aleppo posted below on its Facebook page during the Easter holidays.
The peace is very fragile. We don’t feel safe; there are still dormant terrorist groups that can become active at any moment. We live in constant fear of attacks, especially during the celebration of holidays. We hear bombings and gunfire around the city night after night and witness the bodies of young people brought to the town in the daylight. Often the only available road to deliver humanitarian aid or food supply is cut off due to fighting. If Aleppo is under the siege more than three days, its civilians are left with no fresh produce. Young people are recruited for the military service, often fathers and the only providers for the families. Many city districts still do not have running water and the unreliable electricity supply is limited to only a few minutes a day.

The Maitri Movement supports the disabled in Aleppo

In February 2017, the Movement of Solidarity with the Poor of the Third World MAITRI launched two outreach programmes. In both cases, the funds are allocated for rehabilitation, treatment, hygiene products, food and other essential needs. The aid is transferred through the Latin Parish of St. Francis in the western part of Aleppo. Currently, 58 families of the disabled receive monthly support. The monthly contribution for a single person amounts to 33 EUR (approx. 145 PLN). Another 32 young people have been included in the “Have a Heart Adoption” programme, which is the form of an individual or group sponsorship (e.g. school classes, parish communities, families or just groups of friends) of the particular persons known by the name and surname. The monthly contribution for a single person amounts to 26 EUR (approx. 115 PLN). The sponsors receive the photographs and all the details of the young people they have decided to support. To join the programme, you need to fill in the form on our website. You can help us not only by supporting us financially but also by your prayers, passing information about us on to others and finally through your involvement in the organisation of our projects. You can donate by making a bank transfer to the below account:

Recipient: Stowarzyszenie Ruchu Maitri
Transfer title: Aleppo
Bank account: PL 33 1160 2202 0000 0002 5567 7854

What is the “Faith & Light” community?

According to the website:
The belief that people with disabilities should be treated with an ultimate respect like every other human on this planet has led to the creation of “Faith & Light” community. Treating the disabled as individuals, respecting their dignity and promoting equality are the core values of the community. Members of “Faith & Light” also believe that all humans, regardless of their physical or mental conditions, are considered the best of God’s creations. The real disability is not in the body but the heart. It is not about whether or not we have physical impairments; rather, it is about how we treat those around us.

A letter to the “Faith & Light” community in Aleppo continued

Known in Poland, the “Naive Song” band, consisting of the singers with disabilities, has recorded a music video with a dedication for the disabled in Aleppo. You can see a white flag in the video. It represents the participants of the Civil March for Aleppo. The peace march to raise an awareness of the people in Syria without displaying political hostility towards the enemy of the peace.