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The call of the XXII General Chapter asks us to be present among those excluded and displaced

19/06/2019: General House

June 20 is World Day of Refugees. At this moment in time, there are almost 25,4 million refugees at international level, more than half being less than 18 years old, according to the United Nations

One of the calls of the XXII General Chapter, let us Walk together as a Global Family, asks the Marists to "Identify those who are excluded and displaced (migrants, refugees…), to become present among them and to make every effort to defend their dignity and to look for their inclusion."  

With the objective of responding to this call, the Marists of Champagnat work in conjunction with other institutions or individually to assist with the basic needs of the immigrants who are forced to escape from their countries. 

In the in the various reception centres for the refugees, the Marist offers medical support, psychosocial, legal, nutritious, hygienic and hospitality And depending on the context, they can also offer them education, formation courses or help them to find  employment. 

At international level, there are many and distinct reception centres, projects and campaigns to help the Marists helping the refugees and it is not easy to make a list of everything, next, however, we will mention some experiences and initiatives: 

The Fratelli Project, an intercongregational project of Marist Brothers and De La Salle Brothers, look after given refugee children from Syria and Iraq, as well as needy Lebanese Palestinian children in two socioeducational centres, one in Bourj Hammoud, on the outskirts of Beirut, and another in Rmeileh, about 40 km to the south of the city. 

The Intercultural Centre for Help andAdvice (CIAO) of the community of Syracuse, in Italy, part of Project Lavalla200>. The centre was founded on January 18 2019 to help children and unaccompanied adolescents, refugees / immigrants who enter the country. 

The Marist Centre of Support for Migrants (CAMMI) offers support to the migrant population (mainly Mexican and Central American) which day by day passes through the city of Querétaro in search of better opportunities. The facilities are situated in the Marist University of Querétaro, Mexico. 

The "Encounter Project", in Ciudad Juárez (Mexico) and El Paso (United States), offers services of planning and lodging to encourage meeting experiences, in the area between the two countries, given over to the migrants. The "Encounter Project" is an intercongregational and collaborative project that includes the Jesuits, the Marist Brothers, the Sisters of San Francisco de la Sagrada Familia, lay people and the Hope Border Institute. 

The reception house 'Heart without bounds' in Colombia. A project run by the Brothers and lay Marists of Bogotá to help the Venezuelan immigrant families with children between five and 14 years old 

Project "Childhood in Transit and Human Rights", housed in the Consolata Parish, to help the Venezuelan refugees in Brazil Sul-Amazonia. And the campaigns to help the refugees of by Rede Marista and AVESOL, in Brazil. 

At the moment, The Marists of Australia promote the helping of 4 young Afghan refugees through the programme  Marist180, while they finish their studies. 

The Marist Centre for Migrants, Samut Sakhon, helps immigrants in Thailand, in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Bangkok. The Center - which works mainly with people from Myanmar and Cambodia - provides primary education to children and young people and conducts educational programs for adults.

In 2014, the Marists of Uruguay, lodged for a period in the House San José of the Marists (Montevideo) the first families of Syrian refugees coming from the Lebanon.  

2016, The Lisboa Brothers (Marists of Compostela) welcomed into one of their houses the Fatima family, a couple with three young children, from Aleppo-Syria.  

Also the General House of the Marist Brothers helps and welcomed some immigrants, since 2017,. 

And following the charism of Champagnat, who welcomes the weakest, other Marist Projects which deal with the problem of refugees, are in place and we have not mentioned them at the moment, but we would ask you to send us news so that it can be shared. 


With a simple gesture of open arms, participants at the Marist Brothers General Chapter (Colombia 2017)
joined in the Caritas Internationalis #ShareJourney campaign to warmly welcome migrants and displaced persons.

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