In both countries, obtaining clothes has become nearly impossible. Sister Annie Demerjian, from the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, who has collaborated on this project with ACN for years, laments, "Many families here can only dream of new clothes! To buy a pair of trousers, a shirt, and shoes in Syria nowadays, you need two months of minimum wage." Due to the ongoing war and the challenging economic situation in Syria, ACN has been supporting this initiative since 2015. In Lebanon, this marks the third year the foundation has partnered with religious orders to distribute Christmas gifts to children. This year, the initiative in Lebanon carries the motto: "When you can't find joy, create it."
Sister Raymonda Saada, from the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph of Lyons in Lebanon, spearheaded this initiative last year. Through her skillful management, she secured Christmas presents for 11,000 children, exceeding the planned 10,000. The gifts were distributed during family celebrations to reinforce the Christmas message. Once again this year, many young volunteers will assist Sister Raymonda in getting the children in the mood for Christmas with songs, prayers, and biblical reenactments.
"Despite the war and the difficult situation, around 500 children in southern Lebanon will also receive presents," says Sister Raymonda. "In my prayers, I never forget ACN’s benefactors. Without you, we would not be able to achieve anything. Thank you for believing in this project. You and all your donations are what made this dream a reality. We are absolutely sure that Jesus Christ is blessing you, wherever you are; and with every present, with every smile of a child, you are receiving a special grace. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts."