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January 25, 2019 — Almost 30 events, $135,000 raised, and 1,500 students met: that’s the report card on the campaign Building Bridges launched last November by Canadian Jesuits International (CJI). This ambitious campaign generated its share of media attention, since Canadian Jesuits International invited to the country Fr. Nawras Sammour, SJ, Director of the Jesuit Mission Refugee Service in the Middle East and North Africa. Born in Syria, Fr. Sammour shared several poignant testimonies about life in a war zone.

Nawras Sammour, SJ, Director of the Refugee Service for the Middle East

Nawras Sammour, SJ, Director of the Refugee Service for the Middle East

Through role-playing and simulation games, Fr. Sammour led the students to experience the difficult choices that Syrians have to make, says the B.C. Catholic. “Now that things have begun to calm down and the routes are safer in Syria, the greatest danger that Syrians face is stupidity,” he says. “As Church, it is our responsibility to promote the education of Syrians so that they can stand up to extremist ideologies.”

Fr. Sammour has not lost hope. “We want education more than food aid. The young have an extraordinary capacity to get back on their feet. Our priority in the Jesuit centres is to support them, to offer psychological and social supports, to build bridges and to insist on reconciliation."

The funds raised by the campaign will be shared among various projects in Syria, in Amazonia, and in India.

For more details on the campaign, visit the section Bridging Borders in CJI’s website o to the interview given by Fr. Sammour to the program The Agenda on TV Ontario.

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