An Italian hospital in Damascus, which was founded in 1913 and is run by the Salesian Sisters, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, is currently being supported by the “Open Hospitals” project. According to a recent Crux article, The Syrian “Open Hospitals” project was launched by the AVSI Foundation in 2016 in partnership with the Gemelli Foundation and the pontifical charity branch, “Cor Unum,” which is overseen by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development. The AVSI Foundation is a nonprofit that seeks to promote development and support humanitarian aid projects throughout the world.
The “Open Hospitals” project provides medical care for those living in poverty and is currently supporting the activities of three Catholic nonprofit hospitals in Syria. The hospital, run by the Salesian Sisters, has 55 beds and employs 26 physicians and 54 nurses. According to the article, the St. Louis Hospital in Aleppo, managed by the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition, and a French hospital in Damascus, managed by the Company of Daughters of St Vincent de Paul, are also supported. The three Catholic hospitals offer free medical care to the poor no matter their religious affiliation, allowing some 400 impoverished people a week to receive care.
Climate Smart Agriculture Curriculum/Module for Agricultural Diploma Level Programme at State Agricultural Institutes in Myanmar
Report published by reliefweb.com
Climate Smart Agriculture Course Curriculum
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is implementing a project entitled “Sustainable Cropland and forest management in priority agro-ecosystems of Myanmar (SLM-GEF)” in coordination with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MoNREC) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The project aims to facilitate and strengthen sustainable land management (SLM), sustainable forest management (SFM), and climate-smart agriculture (CSA). The project facilitates the adoption of climate smart agriculture (CSA) policies and practices that will help to sustainably increase productivity, enhance resilience (adaptation), reduce/remove GHGs (mitigation) and enhance achievement of national food security and development goals.
The project intends to establish a national CSA/SLM training program mainstreaming CSA/SLM in the agriculture related training conducted by Department of Agriculture (DOA), State Agricultural Institutes (SAI), Department of Agriculture Research (DAR) and Yezin Agricultural University (YAU). The project will work with DoA, SAIs, DAR and YAU to integrate CSA within their research, training and development programs. The training program will vary with the need and nature of the institutions, for example;(1) one month training together with other subjects for the in-service or refresher course at Central Agriculture Research and Training Centre (CARTC), (2) one week intensive training of trainers (ToT) aiming for the senior extension agents of DoA, DAR and YAU, (3) CSA component integrated into the course for diploma students at SAIs, and (4) CSA component integrated into the course for bachelor and master's level at YAU.
AVSI Foundation was contracted to develop the Climate Smart Agriculture Curriculum and Handbook to be introduced and incorporated as a course (subject) into the existing education systems at different levels as mentioned above. This document will serve as the main resource/reference book for professors/lecturers/teachers from the different State Agricultural Institutes to include the related topics on CSA into their courses for teaching the students.
BY Michael Swan for THE CATHOLIC REGISTER
BOA VISTA, Brazil – As soon as she fills another suitcase with food, Margaret Infante will join other refugees who cross back and forth at the border from Brazil to Venezuela to help feed starving family members. She will probably get the food, at least in part, from the Our Lady of Consolation parish kitchen. Every day the Catholic parish hands out staples and feeds more than 800 refugees who gather around the Boa Vista bus terminal.
“We have to be here for now,” Infante said. “We have to help our family back in Venezuela.”
More than three million refugees have fled crisis-stricken Venezuela. The regime of incumbent President Nicolas Maduro, who is accused of fomenting political and social upheaval and rigging the Jan. 10 election, is facing a challenge from the opposition leader, Juan Guaido, who has assumed the presidency with the backing of more than 50 nations, including Canada.
With no end in site to the political and economic crisis, and as extreme food and medicine shortages continue, up to five million more Venezuelans are projected to flee the crisis-stricken nation this year. Those who are stuck in the neighbouring nation of Brazil are cautious about making any plans to return permanently to their home based merely on a political change. The problems run deeper than the presidency, said 53-year-old Ramon Piamo.
“It’s bad there because you can’t eat,” he said. “At least here (in Brazil), if you work you can eat.”
“People are dying in Venezuela of malnutrition,” adds a woman beside him who gives her name as Jhovanna.
Piamo and his family of five share a tiny apartment in Boa Vista with another family of three. It costs 430 reais (just over $150 Cdn) per month, an immense sum for refugees who are unable to find work. Feeding the family requires Church handouts and knocking down mangoes from neighbourhood trees.
The Piamos are among the vast majority of some 30,000 refugees in this city of just over 300,000 who live outside official refugee camps. As of Feb. 18, there were 5,831 people in official, army-run “abrigos” or camps — about 20 per cent of the Venezuelan refugee total in and around Boa Vista.
Eighteen-year-old Andranik Isaac Piamo Petrosian, married to Aura MacGregor and with three-year-old daughter Eriannys, can’t see himself returning home soon, whatever the outcome of the Guaido-Maduro saga.
“No money to go back,” he said.
Most people are reluctant to give their names and even more reluctant to have their pictures taken. They grimly joke about Maduro’s reach and his eagerness to punish his enemies. But Wilmaris Del Valle Arredondo is so angry she just doesn’t care. Holding her daughter, she invites a picture.
“Put it in a big headline,” she says. “It was a great country. It’s been ruined. Maduro is not worthy to be president. He ruined it all.”
These refugees, however, are better off than about 100 Indigenous refugees settled in a camp in an empty lot outside the city centre. By early morning the mothers are trying to tidy up their sparse possessions around a couple of dying fires. They are surrounded by children. Their homes are their hammocks.
Noticing the obviously well-fed visitors, the Indigenous hold out their hands, palms up just below their chins, and make a motion with their four fingers toward their mouths. They are hungry.
A few Indigenous are in an official, army-run camp just for Indigenous refugees. They have more space and an opportunity to work at crafts, allowing them to earn money.
“They’re not prisoners here. They come and go,” said army communications officer Col. Carla Beatriz Medeiros.
The army’s mission to the migrants in Roraima, Brazil’s most northern state, is humanitarian, Medeiros said. But while the army erected the camps and supplied 500 soldiers to maintain order, the programs are delivered by volunteers, the Church, NGOs and United Nations agencies.
“We have a kind of know-how,” said the officer from Brasilia, who first worked on a humanitarian mission in Haiti. “We say in the army, we are a strong arm and a friendly hand. In this case, it’s a friendly hand,” she said.
Scalabrinian Sr. Valdiza Carvalho co-ordinates a dizzying number of Catholic agencies working to serve the Venezuelans both inside and outside the camps — the Centre for Human Rights, the Scalabrinian Institute for the Human Rights of Migrants, the Jesuit Refugee Service, the Catholic Ministry to Migrants of the Diocese of Roraima, Caritas Brazil and the Reference Centre of the Federal University of Roraima. She keeps these groups in touch with various United Nations agencies and maintains lines of communication with the army.
All these agencies, with support from the Church, are trying to serve the most vulnerable among the refugees, said Carvalho.
From the parish to the diocesan human rights centre, the Church agencies concentrate on helping women who are pregnant, young mothers and those who have suffered abuse. Women, children and Indigenous are suffering the most, she said.
“Roraima in general is dangerous for women. The migrants are even more vulnerable,” she said.
Many of the women she sees are pregnant. Last week one of them was just 14 years old. Some of the mothers are hoping Brazilian citizenship will give their children an advantage.
For other women, there’s just one option left for them to feed their families.
“Prostitution is a big problem,” said Carvalho.
Along with this industry goes human trafficking, underage prostitution, child sexual abuse and an atmosphere of violence.
Inside the camps sexual and domestic violence are the biggest problem the agencies confront, said AVSI Brasil community participation officer Beatrice Rosetti Betti. Men who are unable to work and unable to provide for their families fall into a kind of depression that can turn some of them into a threat to their own families.
Report published by Reliefweb.int
475 mt of food assistance distributed
USD 16,285 cash based transfers made
USD 85.12 m total requirements
276,822 people assisted In January 2019
By Elise Harrys for CRUX
ROME - Extending the country’s longstanding support for persecuted Christians and other victims of violence in the Middle East, the Hungarian government has announced that it will provide nearly $1.7 million to a project aimed at supporting hospitals in Syria.
Hungarian Ambassador to the Holy See Eduard Habsburg told Crux he’s happy with the initiative, because it “finally makes much more visible what Hungary has been doing for years behind the scenes. Hungary has been doing this all the time.”
“I am extremely happy that we can help out and react to a call from the Holy See,” he said, explaining that Italian Cardinal Mario Zenari, who has served as the Vatican’s envoy to Syria for the past decade, approached Hungarian officials for help, knowing how much support the government has given to persecuted Christian communities.
Hungary is the first public donor to support the project through their “Hungary Helps” humanitarian assistance program.
The government “took this call with lots of joy,” Habsburg said, adding that for him, one of the most important aspects of the project is that while the bulk of hospital staff are Christian, Muslims will be the primary beneficiaries of their support, “so it is a project that will help peace in the region between different religions.”
Launched by the AVSI Foundation in 2016 in partnership with the Gemelli Foundation and the pontifical charity branch “Cor Unum,” which is overseen by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development, the Syrian “Open Hospitals” project provides medical care for those living in poverty and supports the activities of three Catholic non-profit hospitals in Syria.
By Lominda Afedraru for Daily Monitor
The numerous questions Seeds of Gold receives on onion farming attest to the fact that interest in the crop is growing.
Most of the farmers in Uganda engaged in growing onions do it for commercialisation with the aim of increasing their income for improved livelihood.
While most of those seeking information are beginners, a good number are practising farmers.
Several non-governmental organisations such as Association of Volunteers in International Service (AVSI) have taken to providing best practicing tips to organised groups countrywide.
In this article, we break down all that you need to know on farming onions successfully.
UNFCU Foundation announced today that it has given grants to support the projects of 14 organizations in 2019. The work of each project aligns with the Foundation’s mission to sustain a path out of poverty through education and healthcare for women and children in disadvantaged communities.
“We focus on funding results-oriented grassroots causes, working directly within the communities we want to impact,” said Pamela Agnone, president and director of the UNFCU Foundation. “With the projects we are supporting in 2019, we look forward to another productive year ahead.”
The organizations and projects supported by the UNFCU Foundation in 2019 are:
AVSI – USA (Association of Volunteers in International Service), enhancing the social and economic resilience of vulnerable young women in urban refugee and host communities in Nairobi, Kenya.
Published by hungarytoday.hu
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met Archbishop Mario Zenari, the Apostolic Nuncio to Syria, in his office on Tuesday, the PM’s press chief said.
Orbán handed over to Zenari a document on the Hungarian government’s humanitarian aid efforts in Syria, Bertalan Havasi said.
The prime minister stressed Hungary’s commitment to helping communities and families in need in the Middle East and relieving the humanitarian disaster there.
He noted his government’s position that help should be provided at the point where it is needed rather than “bringing trouble over to Europe”. As a sign of its solidarity, the Hungarian government — via its Hungary Helps scheme — has donated 505 million forints (EUR 1.6m) in aid to the Italian AVSI Foundation with a view to funding the operation of Aleppo’s St. Louis Hospital and the French Hospital and Italian Hospital in Damascus for a year.
Zenari noted at the meeting the main message of the lecture he gave at Pazmany Peter Catholic University on Monday that minorities, especially Christian women and children, are the biggest victims of the armed conflict in Syria. He said the local hospitals operated by Christian churches also treat Muslims.
The meeting was also attended by Miklós Kásler, the human resources minister, Tristan Azbej, the state secretary for aiding persecuted Christians, Michael August Blume, the Apostolic Nuncio to Budapest, and Giampaolo Silvestri, secretary-general of the AVSI Foundation.
By Laura Cappon for OpenMigration.org
8,000 Syrian refugees have returned to their home country since the beginning of the year. The return exodus was brought about by an agreement between Syria and Lebanon, where more than 1 million Syrians live. For President Assad, returning refugees are a political weapon to bolster his international credibility. However, the very presence of the dictator, as well as the lack of homes and jobs and the risk of being incarcerated, still keeps away many who would be otherwise happy to return.
The refugees’ fears are rooted in the traumas of war. The stories of the people one meets among the refugees in Lebanon are all very similar. One common thread is the memory of the bombings, which are marked indelibly into their psyche. This is especially true of children.
“If I were to return right now I would only be very afraid. My children have been traumatised by the bombings. Whenever they hear the sound of a plane, they are terrified, even though it’s been 5 years. They run for cover every time, thinking the bombs are about to drop again,” Aida tells us. She has a sweet, round face, framed by a blue hijab. She looks like an actress out of a musalsal, the TV shows that are broadcast by pan-Arabian networks during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. She also fled Raqqa province in 2013, walking amid the bombs. Even then she had four children, and is now expecting her fifth. She cannot read or write. She is currently learning in the Sarada camp, thanks to an initiative by AVSI, an Italian NGO. “Of course I would like to go back to Syria, but this is not the right time. Part of my family has stayed in Raqqa. I haven’t seen them in five years and I don’t get to hear from them very often. All I know is that my home was completely destroyed; we have lost everything.”
All photographs by Andy Hall
By Hannah Summers by The Guardian
Thousands of Syrians who have missed out on years of vital learning are being helped back into education in Lebanon and Jordan.
These Syrian children, aged eight to 14, attend a psycho-social support class at the Back to the Future centre in Lebanon’s Akkar district. They are among more than 450,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon and 240,000 in Jordan aged three to 18. Some 60% are out of school, according to UNHCR. The organisation AVSI is working with partners – War Child, Holland, Terre des Hommes, Italy and Terre des Hommes, Netherlands – to help thousands of displaced children into education. They focus on preparation for school, inclusion once in school and preventing children from dropping out early.
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