International Day of Families 2023

John poses with families in Lebanon

Back in 1993, the General Assembly decided in a resolution that 15th May of every year should be observed as The International Day of Families. This day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase the knowledge of the socio-cultural and economic issues affecting families.

The Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 goals aiming to eliminate poverty, discrimination, and abuse as well as the destruction of the environment is focused on inclusion with a mission of ‘leaving no one behind’ for a future of development for all.

But such goals cannot be achieved without family-orientated policy and programmes.


On International Day of Families, find out how through a partnership with MASIR Association for Human Rights, we supported a project focused on equal rights for ALL families.


Last year, we supported a project focused on marginalised groups in Lebanon and early this month John Guiney SJ met with the MASIR Association for Human Rights during his travels as well as the families who were supported by the programme.

John meets project families and shakes their handsThe ‘back to school’ project addressed inequality and supported the families of Lebanese women who, as a result of being married to non-Lebanese, suffer discrimination because their government excludes them from all kinds of societal welfare and support since the pandemic and the financial crash.

Four families of Lebanese women married to foreigners were assisted throughout this project and 11 boys and girls returned to school. As well as financial support, to aid parents in getting back on their feet, the project also provided vocational training to four mothers, so that they could seek additional wages to support their families.

The families spoke with Father John about the changes that occurred in their lives as a result of the project’s support, which allowed their children to continue their education and help them run their households, as well as vocational training for mothers so that they can find new job opportunities.


They also shared with him the difficulties and economic problems that they had previously experienced burdened by discrimination.

John also met with Moustafa Shaar, MASIR director in Beirut, who spoke of the many projects of MASIR, and whatJohn meets director of MASIR Human Rights Association “My nationality My Dignity” campaign accomplished in terms of facilities, support, and public opinion mobilization about the right of nationality.

In Lebanon many families face social exclusion and children of mixed-ethnic background often suffer racism. These families are essentially stateless and inequality overshadows all aspects of everyday life. It is because of activists such as Moustafa Shaar and his team – that marginalised families are given voice, support and solidarity in their fight for equality.


To find out more about our partnership with MASIR Association for Human Rights, watch the video highlighting the family supportive project

& for more on IJI’s work on Human Rights

Click here