Urgent Global News
Through programs around the world, La Salle International Foundation helps people lead a better life. Featured here are some critical issues deserving our attention.
Syrian Refugees: A Brotherly Response
September 12, 2015
Question: How do talented teachers and students help Syrian refugees?
Answer: By offering what they have — a quality education.
Concerned about the evolving migrant/refugee crisis in the world (principally from Syria) and as prescribed by decisions made at the De La Salle Christian Brothers’ General Chapter, a small team from both the De La Salle and Marist Congregations visited the Middle East (Jordan and Lebanon) to see what possibilities for two religious teaching congregations to serve the Syrian and Iraqi refugees who are in government camps.
They suggested to the Superiors General of these congregations that De La Salle and Marist schools which are nearby these encampments be used to provide educational training for refugee children who otherwise are neglected. This initiative, crafted in Rome and involving two Brothers’ Congregations, was coined the Fratelli Project. (“Fratelli” means “Brothers” in Italian.)
While the specifics of such involvement are being pursued, the De La Salle and Marist Brothers’ contribution will be to (1) provide opportunities for refugee children to be placed into the regular classes offered by nearby De La Salle Schools; (2) offer special classes for children and adults during after-school hours and evening when the facilities are otherwise not occupied, (3) organize and conduct youth activities for the refugees.
Needless to say, these operations would require additional funding in order to proceed. What makes this involvement propitious is that the De La Salle Christian Brothers and the Marist Brothers have the facilities in place to be of immediate assistance (very little new construction would be needed); there is interest by the local Brothers in doing this kind of work (they want to extend their services to these people); there is academic talent in the teachers (no need to “import” staff, but rather can utilize local talent); there is the buffering collaboration of another congregation (and will be looking for other congregations to join the partnership); there is a directive from the General Chapter to move into this kind of work (as indicated by their “Beyond the Borders” mandate); and there is a vital educational service which can be provided . . . a service which is largely being ignored by other funding agencies. Clearly the time is right for such involvement.
This initiative has the support of both Superiors General and represents a new extension of Lasallian charism to the poor and underserved. Persons who wish to assist with the work of the De La Salle Christian Brothers and the Marist Brothers through the Fratelli Project are encouraged to send a check to La Salle International (see bottom of page) or to click here for a credit card or PayPal transfer.
A good source of evolving information on this humanitarian situation can be found in the publications of IRIN. Click here for the link. Feel free to suggest other sources of information by contacting us.
Viêtnam: Assistance needed to primary school serving poor children
September 12, 2015
Lasan Tan Hung, a school also known as the School for the Poor and the School of Love, is located in a poor section of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam. It serves 140 elementary aged students from difficult backgrounds whose circumstances prevent them from attending regular education. They are children at-risk. Some are orphans; some suffer from HIV/AIDS; others are street workers.
Due to the commitment and love of the Brothers and their Lasallian lay partners, all students attend the school free of charge, and nearly half of the students receive free lunch. Lack of consistent funding limits the amount of students that the Brothers can support. The students learn basic skills in English and math during their time in the school.
Currently, the school needs new sanitation systems and enhanced educational experiences for the students.
You assistance is requested for the following projects:
- Four sustainable toilet units- $7,000
- Installation of better filtration systems and sinks- $2,000
- Implementation of nutrition and hygiene programs- $3,000
- Renovations for school (i.e. roof, stairwell)- $4,000
- English and Technology programs (10 desktops) and activities- $4,000
You can help us by going to our donation page and clicking on the “donate” button. On the last page of your donation, you can indicate that your gift is for this Vietnam Primary School Project.