International Day of Families 2024

women receives food aid. the box has IJI and MASIR logos on it.

Today marks International Family Day, a day to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase the knowledge of the socio-cultural and economic issues affecting families.

Families come in all shapes and sizes and #FamilyDay is about collectively working to improve the lives of all families especially those in marginalised and unsafe and vulnerable contexts.

We are all witnesses to so much war and violence and especially for families in Ukraine, Palestine, Israel, Myanmar, Tigray in Northern Ethiopia, Yemen, the Congo and Sudan – vulnerable communities are in desperate need for protection, safety and often even the most basic of necessities.

Despite all the terrible images and reels we are seeing online; it is important to remember and acknowledge the light when all seems so dark.

At IJI we believe ‘no one should be left behind’ and for International Day of Families we will showcase two projects which are focused on supporting families in great need.

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.

food kits for family assistance

Partnered with  MASIR Association for Human Rights, the family-orientated project has focused on supporting discriminated families in a number of ways from school supplies, vocational trainings for mothers and food aid.

On a daily basis, MASIR received multiple calls and requests for food rations and medications from desperate families via the MASIR hotline. Funding in this project was centred on food packages for approximately 100 families. This food assistance would support a family for around a month and a half. In addition, 50 patients were given medicines that might last between one and two months, depending on the dosage. Although limited in scope – it is making a huge difference in the lives of desperately needy families.

Mariam, a Lebanese widow woman who was married to a stateless said: “I work to support my stateless children, we tried to survive on daily basis and this food box came on time, thank you for hearing my voice.”

Raghida, a divorced Lebanese woman, stated, “I’m a maid; I got a salary while I worked only. I had an accident then and can’t work until I get well. This food box will help us until I get well, Thank you.”

JRS aid workers distribute food kits to struggling families.

Food distributions in Aleppo

In Syria, working with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), we have been supporting families, mainly in Aleppo, in the aftermath of the war and the devastating earthquakes that crippled communities already suffering a humanitarian crisis.

Like in Lebanon, the project is focused on supporting families from winter kits during the freezing months of winter to food kits and support via medical centres. As you can imagine, the earthquakes of 2022 have left infrastructure in tatters and as a result families already vulnerable from the war are left exposed to the elements and life is a constant struggle.

Thanks to the support of our friends and donors – JRS is building vital community and medical clinics powered by newly installed solar panels. The medical centre is focused on providing psychosocial support, general aid treatment and gynecological treatment for women and mothers.

Thanks to projects like MASIR and JRS, vulnerable families do not struggle alone and get the support and kindness they need.

Today, you can support struggling families