Our current needs to support refugee families, the homeless and others in most need are focused on the following activities.
Current Needs & Activities
- Increasing the amount and availability of food collected by Caritas: clothing and basic domestic equipment
- Seeking new volunteers to help with packing food, baby and basic medical supplies for distribution.
- Current pressing need of finding storage space for Caritas, for the donated supplies essential to support newly arrived refugee families.
- Finding more help with transportation needs, including food/furniture collection, distribution and on occasion, for refugees who are more distantly situated in the outlying villages.
- Encouraging additional support to alleviate workload/pressure on other Caritas members and volunteers.
- Maintaining constant awareness campaigns, co-ordinating charity events and appeals within the wider community.
- Maintaining the standards and personal time allocated to the refugee children and adults at the Learning Centre. This is becoming more difficult due to the significantly increased numbers and demand.
- Finding temporary shelter for the homeless and for families who are at risk within difficult domestic situations.
- Continue developing small organic farming zones on our land for refugees and others in need to grow their own vegetables, fruit and distribute the excess to their wider community. We currently produce 240 litres of organic extra virgin olive oil each year for distribution.
- Increase the capacity of the Learning Refuge & Cultural Centre. The existing Centre has reached its size capacity in terms of the number of refugee children it can accommodate. This maximum capacity is only 20 children. We have a current demand within the short term to be able to accommodate between 30 – 50 children whom we are aware would like to join our classes.
- Accommodate the demand for adult refugee classes. Our aims will be to provide classes for language teaching, help for navigating within/dealing with government offices for legitimate benefits and also for art and creative skills workshops.
- Increase the capacity of our storage facilities for donations of food, clothes, furniture and basic household items. Currently the Learning Refuge and Caritas Paphos do not have secure storage space for food, clothing, furniture, bedding and other essential household items we collect. Caritas has been using the house and garden of a Lebanese volunteer, the St Paul’s Pillar charity (coffee) shop and some very limited space at the Learning Refuge – these are used on a “rotation” basis. We are often in difficult situations where we have to turn away larger furniture, beds (much needed) and other essential household goods donations due to this issue.
- Provide a ‘Shelter’ for emergency and temporary accommodation. We would wish to provide extra rooms to serve as emergency accommodation to help those families ‘at risk’ and homeless individuals who require short term support. We continue to work closely with UNHCR. We also have migrant workers (Philippino, Sri Lankan, Indian) who may experience short term homelessness.
- Initiate an employment skills learning centre for refugees and other migrants, with subsequent provision of the basic tools required for work opportunities.
- Provide additional support through Fr. Carlos Ferrero, in his position as Snr. I.V.E. Priest for the Holy Land, for the ‘on the ground’ priority needs of Christian communities. Especially, for the children at the ‘Hogar Nino Dias’ Home of Mercy, Bethlehem. This Home is in Palestine and for children who have been abandoned, have handicaps and special needs.
- Seek to encourage support and assistance for Philippe Matta, Head of the OSMTJ Priory of Lebanon. Philippe and his volunteer members currently provide food vouchers every month for up to 60 families who are most in need. The Priory also arranges fund-raising events to pay the school fees and other educational costs of six children from the most deprived families. The children are in KG1, KG2 and Nursery classes, between the ages of four and six years old. Philippe, a fully qualified tennis coach, also donates his tennis coaching fees to those families his Priory supports.
- Church of Christ Antiphonitis Monastery. It is also our intention to help restore the beautiful ancient frescoes in the isolated and disused, historic Church of Christ Antiphonitis Monastery, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Hogar Nino Dias, Home of Mercy, Bethlehem, Palestine.
The isolated and disused church of Christ Antiphonitis Monastery, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
OSMTJ Priory of Lebanon – supporting 60 families with food vouchers & essential supplies