Mission statement of the church foundation „Korbgemeinschaft – Hilfe für Syrien“

The foundation “Korbgemeinschaft – Hilfe für Syrien” (basked community – assistance for Syria) of the Archdiocese of Vienna was established on April 1, 2016 by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn.

This enables the melkitic community in the Archdiocese of Vienna to organize help for “brothers in faith” in Austria and abroad, as it thus regarded as a legal entity when dealing with state institutions.

The Foundation is focused exclusively and directly on charitable, benevolent and ecclesiastical purposes. It is not profit-oriented and aims only at achieving cost recovery through its income.

The headquarters of the “Korbgemeinschaft – Hilfe für Syrien” are located in Vienna/Austria.

Underlying motivation

The name “Korbgemeinschaft” (basket community) expresses the basic motivation of this Foundation.

In the miraculous multiplication of bread (Mt 14, 14-21), the disciples are instructed by Jesus to share bread with the hungry crowd. This command continues to this very day. We are to feed the hungry. When trusting in God, the baskets do not become empty. Whatever God gives will be sufficient for everyone.

Values and Objectives

Our efforts are based on the Christian view of humanity.

Our main motto is the “love of life”. Jesus Christ says, “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10). Love and life belong together.

We want to pave the way for peace and to bring hope for new life where there is despair, poverty and hardship, war and oppression. We want to achieve this by offering quick, concrete and direct help to people living in Syria.

Work method

Hanna Ghoneim visits Syria three to four times a year. Through this personal contact with the local people and groups, we learn what is needed most urgently. This is how concrete projects are developed.

In this process, the consultation, information and consent of the bishops are important to us.

Donations come from various national and international aid organizations, friends and supporters of the Foundation. New donors are usually introduced directly by the highly active community of donors. We strongly rely on personal recommendations and direct contact. Confidence and sustainability are among our priorities.

The donations collected for the specific projects are channeled through local church organizations in Syria to parishes, religious communities and institutes in the dioceses of Damascus, Hauran, Homs and Aleppo with whom we are in close contact and continuous exchange. These institutions have many helpers to support the implementation of the projects.

Receipts and payments are recorded and documented. Applications and reports are prepared for relief organizations, major donors, parishes, etc.

When working together for people in need, when listening to each other, when being attentive and mindful of each other, one feels God’s presence.

Together, we want to bring God’s love to the people and we want to be an instrument of peace.

Use of funds

Thanks to the direct contact to church organizations (parishes, religious communities, laypeople) in Syria, aid comes very quickly to where it is most urgently needed.

These organizations know the local conditions and rely on a selected network of helpers.

According to the Statute of the Foundation, the funds are focused on the following purposes:

  • Rental support for domestically displaced persons
  • Obtaining suitable clothing for the needy
  • Assistance for covering energy costs
  • Mediation of medical services
  • Mediation of financial support
  • mediation of material support (collection of donated goods, organization of group transports, etc.)
  • Assistance for creating small and medium sized enterprises in different sectors, e.g. crafts businesses, farms, etc., through targeted training,   micro credits, provision of equipment & machinery, development projects, etc.

The scope of support and the decision as to which projects we can start depend on the means we receive for these purposes. We see ourselves as mediators in this very difficult time in Syria. A stable bridge which reaches the people in their dire need is intended to facilitate new life.

P.S.: Please note that whenever the text uses the masculine form it shall be deemed to include the feminine and vice versa.