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Mafraq: a school bus for young Syrian refugees

Published: June 04 Mon, 2018

MAFRAQ – Last April, the parishioners of Mafraq, the Montreal Lieutenancy of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher and the l’Œuvre d’Orient funded the purchase of a bus for the parish of St. Joseph Mafraq. This initiative will allow the parish to send Syrian refugee youth from camps along the border to the city to study while waiting to continue their education in a school or high school. Mafraq is a city in Jordan located 20 km from the Syrian border. Surrounded by Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, it takes its name from its geographical position. Indeed, Mafraq means “Cross roads”. In 1944, the parish of Mafraq was born thanks to the arrival of the Rosary Sisters. A church, a school and a convent were then built with the help of the Latin Patriarchate.

It is in this school, which has grown over time, that teachers and volunteers have set up school programs to enable young Syrian refugees, stranded in camps along the border, to study in their free time while waiting to be enrolled in a Jordanian high school. Indeed, on the border between Syria and Jordan, thousands of Syrian refugees are stuck and continue to pile up and survive in difficult humanitarian conditions.

In order to allow these students to take these courses, Saint Joseph parish of Mafraq rented buses to transport them from refugee camps along the border to the parish. Thus, the few kilometers separating the Mafraq camps were no longer a problem.

To significantly reduce the costs of this route proposed by the parish of Mafraq, the parishioners of the city, the lieutenancy of Montreal of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher and the l’Œuvre d’Orient mobilized to finance a bus. This bus, bought last April by the Latin Patriarchate and donated to the parish of Mafraq, will directly benefit the refugees and the parish.

Vivien Laguette