The Fratelli Project is two years old, and they have been two years of constant daily commitment, of expansion and growth, looking after the interests of Syrian and Iraqi refugees living in Lebanon.
Two years of service to those who have lost almost everything when fleeing from war and its horrors. For those two years, the De La Salle and Marist Brothers have been running Bourj Hammond and Rmeileh as places for encounter and welcome for refugees, and they have developed twelve programmes which are in full swing.
During these two years of tireless commitment, the Brothers of the two Congregations have moved from caring for 60 children in the first years to more than 700 today, children, young people and adults.
They have grown from a community of just two Brothers to one of four Brothers and three long-term volunteers.
Throughout the whole period of constant growth, 36 international organisations have been assisting the Fratelli Project, which tries to bring hope for the future to those fleeing war and persecution, who have lost everything except the belief that things can be better in the future.
In just two years, the Fratelli Project has become a symbol of cooperation between two Congregations testifying to the fact that it is possible for them to join together, and that by persevering in working together they can achieve great results.
A little history
This inter-Congregational work is taking place in Lebanon, where 30% of the population is made up of refugees. By comparison, it is as if Spain were to contain 13 million refugees. Many families from Syria, Iraq and Palestine are living in camps set up in no-man’s-land, where they have neither present nor future.
Attentive to the request of Pope Francis, the Marist and De La Salle Superiors set up the Fratelli Project. It is a socio-educational initiative for refugees and street children. At the head of the project ares the Spanish Marist Brother Miquel Cubeles and the Mexican De La Salle Brother Andrés Porras.
Congratulations to all those who have made the Fratelli Project possible. May it continue and be an example of help given to those in great need!