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"Pope's project for refugees in Jordan will not only offer them work, but also dignity"

2016-05-19

Almost two years ago, they left their homes with nothing, due to the threat of the Islamic State. They thought it would only be for a short time and they would soon return.

However, the lack of international commitment and continuous war have made this situation permanent for thousands of Iraqis, for whom the dream of recovering their old lives is increasingly far away.

To give a second chance to some of these families, the Vatican has reserved $150,000 for them, raised at the Holy See's Pavilion at the Milan EXPO 2015.

FR. SEGUNDO TEJADO
Pontifical Council Cor Unum
"The Holy Father said, 'Let's do something for the refugees.' Thus, it was born. Cor Unum talked with the apostolic nuncios and this project was born to help refugee families in Jordan, of whom the vast majority have come from Iraq and are in Jordan."

The initiative is called "Garden of Mercy" and will employ 15 refugees in the food industry. Msgr. Segundo Tejado traveled to Jordan to inaugurate a project that does more than just provide jobs.

FR. SEGUNDO TEJADO
Pontifical Council Cor Unum
"The Church wants these families to have a livelihood, but even more to give them dignity, because many of these families live a very difficult situation.”

In one year, it is expected that more than 500 refugees will benefit from this Pope Francis-driven initiative that also includes training courses.

It is expected that these people can soon be self-sufficient and normalize life as much as possible, despite the harshness of the situation.

FR. SEGUNDO TEJADO
Pontifical Council Cor Unum
"I see the sadness in the eyes of these people. There are many Iraqi Christians who have taken refuge in Jordan, and I see the sadness of having to leave because they leave their land, they also leave their faith community."

Jordan is one of the countries that received more refugees from both Syria and Iraq. From the beginning of the crisis, the Church has sustained and accompanied these people, victims of religious persecution or war.

FR. SEGUNDO TEJADO
Pontifical Council Cor Unum
"The intervention of the Church in this type of conflict is not limited to what the Holy Father or Cor Unum can do. We are a small drop; a sign. A sign of the closeness that the Holy Father has to these problems with these people. "

In Jordan there are about 130,000 Iraqi refugees and more than one million and three hundred thousand Syrians. The country is home to the second largest refugee camp in the world, Zaatari, where more than 80,000 people live.


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