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As per July 2021

Already in the spring of last year, the Covid-19 pandemic caused the Foundation “Korbgemeinschaft” to review various planned aid projects and realign the work focus to the further aggravated economic and social situation of the people. Renovations and reconstruction projects in the pedagogical, agricultural and environmental sectors were put on ice in favor of emergency aid (food, hygiene products, medical help, rent subsidies).

We managed, however, to get the Regional Bakery completed so that it was put into operation in September 2020, exactly at the time when hunger returned to almost every household due the pandemic. Unfortunately, there are currently limits to the quantity of available flour and a lack of reliable and affordable energy. This is why the Bakery of Grace in the Christian village of Maarouneh cannot be run at full capacity at the moment.

As a result, the project priorities for 2021 are as follows:  

  • Operation of the „Bakery of Gracee“ with as much daily production as possible:
  • Finding and coordinating opportunities for wheat imports;
  • Building two additional floors on top of the Bakery in order to obtain energy from a photovoltaic system on the building roof as soon as possible;
  • Organizing a delivery bus in order to be able to supply even more remote villages with bread (rendered possible thanks to a dedicated project group of KAB and its initiative “Bread instead of bombs” which was set up in Passau/Germany for this purpose)
  • Further project plans using the Bakery building:
  • Addition of a building floor to accommodate a social market:

Basic foods and other urgent items of daily life will be purchased at wholesale prices and sold to the poor at cost price without a profit margin;

  • The addition of yet another building floor is planned for a soup kitchen, as many people are without any income and thus exposed to hunger.
  • A photovoltaic system will be installed on the flat roof of the building in order to supply the entire building with environmentally friendly energy;
  • Still much needed is the organization of emergency aid packages for impoverished families (food, hygienic articles for everyday life and medication, especially for the chronically ill); this is being continued, after various logistical improvements from experience gathered in 2020;
  • Emergency aid packages for families with babies and small children (containing additional baby products);
  • Emergency support for rental costs (many people no longer have any income due to the Covid pandemic and are faced by homelessness; at the same time, those who rent out part of their small apartments are desperately dependent on this modest rental income).
  • Purchase of New Testaments for First Communion children

Owing to the Covid pandemic, the First Communion ceremonies 2020 were suspended as a first reaction. The larger parishes then decided to hold the celebrations in the fall, the smaller parishes combined them with the 2021 celebrations.

  • Furniture for churches in Homs
  • The church pews for the Melkite Church in Homs were renewed. The priest’s seat and some smaller church furniture are still needed.
  • The church pews from the Rannersdorf parish near Schwechat, which were sent to Syria as part of the latest humanitarian aid container, will find their new place in another church in Homs. Homs suffered a lot of destruction during the war.
  • Humanitarian goods (container shipments to Syria):
  • The collections continue despite the Corona pandemic; in addition to firm and warm clothing and blankets, there is also a need for small tools, kitchen utensils, used furniture, care beds, walking aids, children’s toys, etc.
  • One container was sent to Syria from Vienna in February 2021 and another one from Bavaria in early April. Another one followed from Vienna in mid-June. The shipment costs for each large container are around EUR 3,500. We are therefore very grateful for any contributions to the transportation costs.
  • The containers planned for the fall of 2021 will contain many used care beds, walking aids and care home facilities which are no longer used in Austria but are urgently needed in Syria.
  • In 2022, we hope to receive school furniture for two classrooms (which will be newly furnished in an Austrian school). Second-hand kindergarten and school furniture and equipment are urgently needed in Syria.
  • We need many helping hands from energetic volunteers for the gathering, temporary storage and loading of the humanitarian goods. Please see separate point „YOUR HELP“.

We hope to soon be able to resume and continue the following projects:

  • Coordination with „Apotheker helfen“ (an initiative of Austrian

pharmacists) to support two health centres in Damascus 

  • School materials, contributions to the school and study costs for children of very poor families
  • Support for a special needs school for mentally handicapped children in Damascus
  •  Support for kindergartens and schools (renovation work and supplements to the low salaries of pedagogues, power generators)
  • Technical improvements of some larger churches (power generators and loudspeaker systems)
  • Mediation of mass stipends
  •  Support of priests and their social and pastoral tasks
  •  Support for scout groups (uniforms and musical instruments)
  • Support of summer camps for children, teenagers and catechists
  • Mediating second-hand and/or purchasing new agricultural machines 
  • Mediating handicraft equipment and tools for small-sized and family-run businesses
  • Purchase of goats and chickens

In the menu item My donation makes a difference you will find photos and videos of projects that have been carried out. Please see for yourself how efficiently your donation helps, how it is transformed into bread and other essential goods and support services. Straightforward, on a 1: 1 basis and on an eye level, maintaining the dignity of the recipient and thus committed to the Christian spirit of genuine, compassionate charity.