Lost Family Portraits winter Refugee Crisis Appeal

Did you know….the Syrian conflict has been going on for longer than the First World War? More than 250,000 people have died and more than four million people have fled Syria into neighbouring countries, living in truly dire conditions. CAFOD’s Church and local partners are on the frontline of the crisis providing urgently needed blankets, mattresses, warm clothing and food to some of the most vulnerable families. This is the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era. When a family receives a blanket, food parcel, hygiene kit, or medical attention, dignity and a sense of hope is restored.

Middle-East-Lebanon-Mahmoud-s-lost-family-portrait_opt_fullstory_large

Mahmoud’s wife died when a missile hit their house in Syria. He and his three children now live in Bekaa refugee camp.

Winter is here and refugee families desperately need support. Please donate to our Refugee Crisis Appeal today.

Our partner Caritas Lebanon Migrant Centre are supporting refugee families living in informal tent settlements in the Bekaa valley, Lebanon, only nine kilometres from the Syrian border. Their plight has been portrayed in a moving series of portraits by the award-winning photographer, Dario Mitidieri, working with us, our partner and the creative agency M&C Saatchi. We visited the families living in the informal settlements in December.

Studio-style portraits were made of families whose lives were shattered as they fled the conflict, with empty chairs symbolising the loved ones they had to leave behind. Each photograph reveals the desperate choices families were forced to make to reach safety.

See the Lost Family Portraits

This is the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era

Matthew Carter, CAFOD’s Humanitarian Director, said:

“It is horrific to hear what these women, children and men have already gone through. Now they are facing winter in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, which is 5,000ft above sea level, where temperatures can fall to minus five.  The hardship for families like these, who struggle daily to cope with inadequate conditions and uncertain prospects for the future, is heart-breaking.

“Money from our winter appeal will allow us to meet the humanitarian demands not only in Lebanon, but inside Syria and other neighbouring countries, as well as in Europe.

“When a family receives a blanket, food parcel, hygiene kit, or medical attention, dignity and a sense of hope is restored.”

“Dario’s photographs are a reminder that we need to share the stories of refugees. We see the faces of people who have fled for their lives. They are not merely statistics.”

See Dario Mitidieri’s photos from Bekaa refugee camp

Please donate to our Refugee Crisis Appeal today

Find out more about the refugee crisis and where we are working

We provide a weekly ‘CAFOD fact’ as a short ‘Did You Know?’ to parishes across the Lancaster Diocese, which they print in their parish newsletters. If you would be interested in receiving this weekly email, let us know at CAFOD Lancaster and we’ll send it directly to you too – email: lancaster@cafod.org.uk

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