Remembering Our Donors
CNEWA has been privileged to serve so many around the world through the generosity of our donors and benefactors. Recently we were reminded of that generosity and the tremendous good will that so many have brought to our work.
In late April, a group of high school students in New York put together a unique fundraising event to support CNEWA’s work with the people of Syria. Dubbed “Relief United,” the picnic and benefit concert in Westchester County, New York, raised close to $20,000, with all proceeds going directly to support CNEWA’s activities with Syrians in need.
The project was the idea of Michal Kozlowski, a student at Regis High School in New York City, who started planning the event last year and enlisted other teenagers to take part.
You can watch a video report of the event at www.cnewablog.org/web/fundraiser.
For the second year in a row, one young man and his family helped organize a fundraiser for CNEWA at Gallagher’s Steakhouse in New York City. In May, Christopher O’Hara, a student at Georgetown University, and his parents, Chris and Kelly O’Hara, welcomed dozens of guests to a reception, where CNEWA president Msgr. John E. Kozar shared stories of his recent visits to the Middle East and spoke particularly about the plight of refugees in Lebanon.
In April, Education and Opportunities for Lebanon (E.O.L.) hosted their 8th Annual Fundraising Dinner at the Lebanese Taverna in McLean, Virginia. E.O.L. funds a variety of CNEWA’s school programs and projects throughout Lebanon — including offering hearing aids for students at Father Roberts Institute, one of Lebanon’s only schools for hearing-impaired children; new computers for several schools in some of the country’s poorest villages; and a science lab at the Antonine Sisters’ School in the Bekaa Valley.
Finally, seminarians from St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, New York, made a generous donation to CNEWA at the seminary’s convocation in May.
CNEWA President Msgr. John E. Kozar attended the event, whose speaker was Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
We are profoundly humbled by the love and commitment of so many, who make it possible for our partners to serve as the hands and face of Christ to our suffering brothers and sisters around the world — especially the sick, the outcast and the poor. We are forever thankful. Know that our donors remain always in our prayers, and in the grateful prayers of those we serve.
The Christian Exodus
The migration of Christians in the Middle East over the last several years — owing to the war in Syria, the rise of ISIS, and ongoing political upheaval in the region — has had a profound impact on the region. The cultures and countries that are the very cradle of Christianity are seeing the faith disbursed and displaced. But hard and reliable statistics on this movement of peoples have been elusive — until now.
Drawing on diverse statistics and resources, CNEWA has compiled what amounts to a definitive snapshot of Christianity in the region today. It is available as a multimedia presentation at: www.onemagazinehome.org/web/exodus.
We encourage you to visit the site and see for yourself how recent events have affected parts of CNEWA’s world — and, indeed, will continue to affect all of us who care about our brothers and sisters in the Middle East.
‘Witnessing Love’ in Egypt
Following Pope Francis’ historic visit to Egypt, we received a letter from one of our partners, the Rev. Shenouda Shafik Andrawes Khalil, rector of St. Leo the Great Coptic Catholic Patriarchal Seminary in Cairo. He was deeply moved by the visit and wrote: “I was amazed at this man’s resilience. … His beautiful, gentle smile was a noble message that brings relief and peace to all who were able to capture it. … Witnessing such a great love made me seek from the Lord the grace of living my daily life as a priest.”
The pope’s visit brought hope to so many in Egypt after the recent church bombings, and reminded us of the great work still to be done. Among many projects in Egypt, CNEWA is helping to build and repair a number of schools in the region; we are also continuing to support formation of seminarians and providing care for children, including those with special needs, at a number of Catholic orphanages.
Dignity for Women
In May, CNEWA received a brief update on a remarkable project we are privileged to support in Ethiopia: the Meki Kidist Mariam Skill Training Center.
The center is located in the parish compound of Meki Kidane Mehret Catholic Cathedral, about 140 miles south of Addis Ababa.
As our regional director Argaw Fantu in Ethiopia notes:
“In the town of Meki are many women who not only care for their homes and their children, but often they are the breadwinners for the family. Despite this, they have less status then men.
“To improve this situation, Bishop Abraham Desta of Meki has invited the community of St. Paul Lay Missionaries to do something as a church for these desperate women. With the creative engagement of Maria Jose Morales, administrator of the training center, many women are now receiving training in hairdressing, cooking, sewing and running a women’s cooperative.
“CNEWA support is supporting their efforts, to accompany the service of the church in Meki for these needy women.”