In the most recent development of our 4-year campaign in Turkey, ACERO has provided aid to 49 families with a particular focus on those with disabilities, chronic and terminal illnesses. While many Assyrian refugees in Turkey have been resettled outside of the Middle East, countless others remain with limited hope for re-settlement, facing challenges in dealing with the United Nations and struggling to survive each day. Writing from Turkey, an ACERO supporter writes: "... no words can describe the joy in our hearts at the magnificent job that ACERO is doing for the people. Thank you ACERO for the huge help that you provided for the people over the years".
With the generous contributions of its supporters, significant progress has been made on Phase 1 of the Armenia Appeal, the renovation of a two-floor building into an Assyrian kindergarten in the village of Verin Dvin, Armenia. This project will provide a centre for 120 children aged 2-6 years old to receive child care, educational, spiritual and national activities from 9am-5pm on a daily basis. In recent weeks, workers have made significant progress clearing the site and commencing with plastering and the installation of doors and windows. The installation of plumping and sewerage system along with the rectification and cementing of the building's floor will soon follow. Later phases of the project will include works at the 189-year-old Assyrian church of Mart Mariam (in the village of Arzni), works at the 191-year-old Assyrian church of Mar Thoma (in the village of Verin Dvin) along with the construction of two community halls will follow. ACERO extends its immense appreciation to supporters from around the world who have given this project a powerful start. In particular, we note the support of the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon (under the leadership of H.B. Mar Meelis Zaia, Metropolitan), the Diocese of California (under [...]
As we approach Easter, ACERO has launched its campaign for the holy period in northern Iraq with financial aid, food parcels and medical assistance distributed to 140 families in the Dohuk district, including the villages of Dehe and Kani Balavi. This campaign will extend to Turkey and Jordan in the coming days where hundreds of Assyrian Christian families, many including members with severe medical conditions, await re-settlement outside the Middle East. In recent times, ACERO has experienced a dramatic increase in requests from those with serious medical conditions. Thanks and appreciation especially to ACERO's Dohuk Chapter and the many workers, drivers, tradesmen and volunteers who give their time supporting our Dohuk Housing Project for the displaced and for leading the on-the-ground distributions throughout the country.
ACERO has today launched its ‘Armenia Appeal’; one of our largest campaigns to date with all funds raised to support important projects for the Assyrian community of Armenia. Armenia Appeal Project – Phase 1 Phase 1 of ACERO’s Armenia Appeal will support the renovation of a two-floor building into an Assyrian kindergarten in the village of Verin Dvin. The completion of this project will provide capacity for 120 children aged 2-6 years old to receive child care, educational, spiritual and national activities from 9am-5pm on a daily basis. Later phases, including works at the 189-year-old Assyrian church of Mart Mariam (in the village of Arzni), works at the 191-year-old Assyrian church of Mar Thoma (in the village of Verin Dvin) along with the construction of two community halls will follow. Assyrians in Armenia The Assyrian community was formed in Armenia in 1828 and since then Assyrians have preserved their language, culture, identity and faith. During the Soviet period, Assyrians faced considerable oppression with their churches turned into warehouses, their clergy exiled or killed and every effort made to extinguish the national spirit of the Assyrians. Since Armenia’s independence and an interval of almost 80 years, the Assyrian community and Assyrian [...]
“It's been three years since ACERO started doing this awesome work in Turkey. It’s generosity is endless and I can't find a good way to thank it enough. Recently, ACERO provided aid to the refugees in Turkey for ( 61 ) families. Again, no words can describe the joy in our hearts to the magnificent job that ACERO is doing for the people. I want to thank Barnabas Fund, and also our brothers and sisters at ACCM Assyrian Christian Compassion Ministry of San Jose, in California who have always helped and assisted us in these difficult times our people are going through.” These are the words of our representative on the ground in Turkey, Mr Danny Lucas. Danny and his team have traveled across the country to visit and distribute aid to displaced persons currently in Turkey. They have reached people in the following cities / towns: Istanbul, Tokat, Duzce, Yozgat, Kirsehir, Kirikalle, Afyon, Cankiri, Samsun, Mardin, Belecik and Nigde. The need in Turkey is great; displaced people are spread across this huge country, unable to work and facing bitter winters with very expensive utility bills. Many of them also suffer from terminal illnesses such as cancer and diabetes and [...]
Our festive season update continues with our children's Christmas concert in Kirkuk, Iraq. Over 100 families were joined by esteemed Assyrian singer and chorister Suaad Elias for a day of hymns, carols and celebration. Ms. Elias expressed her joy at participating in such a great event and her heartfelt thanks to ACERO for hosting it. She led the concert with some beautiful performances along with the church choir. She also sang alongside the children and encouraged them to sing to their very best. Each child was given a gift for Christmas and for their participation whilst their families gathered to watch and celebrate with them. We in turn take this opportunity to thank Ms. Elias for giving her time to support ACERO and to put a smile on the children's faces. We also thank our Iraq chapter committees for their continued hard work and commitment to our brothers and sisters in our beloved homeland.
ACERO’s Iraq Chapter, under the stewardship of Chapter President, His Grace Mar Abrs Yokhanna, has brought the joyous spirit of Christmas to 350 children by hosting a fantastic party for them and their families. We are sincerely thankful to His Grace along with Rev Fr. Martin Niqola and their committees across Iraq who have been working tirelessly and dedicating their time to an ongoing education programme which has culminated in this historic party. It gives us great pleasure to report that we were blessed with the presence of our beloved Patriarch, His Holiness Mar Gewargis III Sliwa. His Holiness commenced proceedings with a prayer and addressed the attendees expressing his pride at the great work of ACERO in helping thousands of families across the Middles East. The festivities included singing, dancing and games for the children followed by a very welcome visit from Santa Claus! Each child was gifted with present and had their photo taken with him. A truly wonderful time was had by all. We could not be prouder of the community spirit and the hard work that is taking place in our homeland as a result of the inspiring team work and community building by our clergy [...]
A JOINT BARNABAS FUND/ASSYRIAN FOUNDATION OF AMERICA PROJECT ACERO's Jordan chapter has embarked upon its festive campaign to help the hundreds of families currently residing there. Jordan continues to house a high concentration of displaced persons, totaling almost 400 families. Our thanks go to Mr Lorance Kazakia and his ACERO committee in Jordan, who were able to distribute aid to 342 families and medication to 177 people with minor and chronic illnesses, we also thank the Very Rev'd Cor Bishop Augin Dawood for his assistance and for visiting many families. Living conditions in Jordan are becoming increasingly more difficult and as such the need for assistance is great. ACERO is therefore working very hard to ensure this blessed season is a peaceful and joyful one for all our people who have been forced out of their homes. In the coming days, children's parties, aid distributions and festivities will be taking place in Jordan and across the Middle East, a Christmas party is planned for our people in Amman. The projects in Jordan have been made possible by the generosity of our partners at Barnabas Fund and the kind donation of the Assyrian Foundation of America (AFA). We thank these organisations [...]
The blessed parish of Mar Gewargis in Kirkuk under the stewardship of Rev. Fr. Gewargis Yousep have begun weekly Christian classes for our children living in the city as well as distributing aid to a number of needy families. This fantastic programme championed by the parish priest and a group of dedicated members is all in the name of promoting, preserving and enhancing the children’s knowledge and understanding of their Christian faith. Core subjects which are taught at their schools are also covered as well as the liturgy of the Assyrian Church of the East. Over 75 children are enjoying lessons in Bible studies, hymns and language as well as music, science and arts & crafts. In the absence of a church owned shuttle, ACERO are delighted to have worked with Rev Fr. Gewargis to help with transportation costs for the children to attend the classes both to and from the church. ACERO has also provided funding for essential writing and crafts materials such as paper, books, pencils, paints and glue as well as providing snacks for the children during recess. Our most sincere thanks go to all our donors and our dedicated partners at Barnabas Fund for their continued [...]
A JOINT ACERO/BARNABAS FUND PROJECT "We extend our thanks and appreciation to Barnabas for their role in drawing a smile and bringing joy to the hearts of the people of our Church. You have given us hope and we congratulate the efforts of all the workers of ACERO" - Salman Spanya, Chairman, ACERO committee Baghdad We are delighted to report that we have completed the first phase of a Barnabas Fund sponsored aid programme across the blessed city of Baghdad. As the capital of our homeland, and with so many of our sacred churches still triumphantly standing across the city, it is and will continue to be ACERO's mission to reach out to our people living there. Financial aid for the sick and most vulnerable and food distributions across 5 churches have taken place over the last few months. We have also attended to the needs of our residents at the Camp El Gelany elderly home. In its second phase, this large scale programme will include additional financial aid for students to go towards tuition fees, travel, books and stationary. Parishioners gathered at the churches of Mar Odisho, Mart Mariam, Mar Qardakh, Mar Mari and Mar Gewargis, all located across [...]