LEBANON: Helping Sisters care for Syrian refugees in Beirut

Based in the Christian quarter of Beirut, the Lebanese capital, the medical dispensary run by the Good Shepherd Sisters has a sign above the door saying "Religion is for God; dispensary is for everyone". And everyone comes...

Sister Hanan, the clinic's director, says: "Over 70 percent of the patients are refugees, mainly from Syria and Iraq. The Iraqis are usually Chaldean Christians who have fled terror to reach here." Many of the Iraqi famlies have fled twice – once to Syria and now to Lebanon.

"Amongst the Syrians there are many Muslim women," says Sister Hanan. "The Muslim women like to come to see us – they trust us Sisters – and if ever we are threatened Hezbollah offer to protect us!"

The Sisters see at least 50 new Syrian refugees every week – like Racha and her three children. Racha fled from Aleppo, leaving a five bedroom house, and now she and her family are living in one room of 11 people.

She said: "The children become ill so often. They are sad and cannot understand what has happened – they have lost their home, their friends and the life they had. "They have seen and experienced too much."

Sister Hanan explains: "Like so many of the refugees – who are crammed into rooms, sleep on stairs or even outside – the young and vulnerable become ill."

Since the beginning of 2012, Aid to the Church in Need has given more than £800,000 for the work of the Good Shepherd Sisters based in Syria and Lebanon. This includes help for female victims of violence.

 

Sister Hanan describes the work of the Good Shepherd Sisters helping refugees