In 2013, the village of Maaloula was captured by the jihadists of the Al-Nosra front. Released in April 2014 by the syrian arab Army, it became a laboratory for SOS Chrétiens d’Orient’s humanitarian action. In fact, Maaloula has a special meaning for our association.

As a result of this invasion and occupation by the Islamists, SOS Chrétiens d’Orient was born. Maaloula is also an emblematic place for all Eastern Christianity. This is one of the last places where Aramaic, language of Christ, is spoken. Its architectural and archaeological heritage is priceless.


Alexandre Goodarzy, head of mission in Syria

When I see kids with a smile on their face, it gives me strength and hope. We meditate the strength of life on faces.

Reconstruction is crucial to bringing people back, but they must also be given economic autonomy, human and spiritual support.


When the jihadists arrived, the city is ransacked. Men are slaughtered, shot or kidnaped. A lot of houses are burned. Numbers of churches are degraded, all are desecrated. Walls smashed or blackened by flames, stained glasses broken, paintings damaged, statutes behaded...

For Father Toufic, catholic greek melkite priest, jihadists thought about killing "the Saint’s presence by desecrating His icon". These attacks destroyed and tore the city and the economy of the region because many people fled in front of the jihadists.

 SOS Chrétiens d’Orient is trying to provide maximum assistance to villagers through all its projects in order to bring the inhabitants back and permit them to be independent from their needs. First and foremost, SOS Chrétiens d’Orient launched the reconstruction sites of the church of Saint George and of the greek orthodox parish Saint-Elie.

The financing of the reconstruction of Maaloula was interpreted as a beautiful sign of solidarity from the Christians of France. The second step was to revitalize economic activity by focusing on the craft sector and promoting Syrian culture. It is necessary to give homes and work to the inhabitants of Maaloula to make them stay, or even bring them back to their land.

Since 2015, several volunteers take shifts to rebuild houses in a traditional way. SOS Chrétiens d’Orient also financed the reconstruction of the factory of debess and a homemade grape jam factory. Maaloula has, as well, a long wine tradition, but war damaged this heritage. Our volunteers from the Syrian mission are committed to repairing the damage with the objective to replant in order to produce and sell wine.

All these financial supports permit the martyr village of Maaloula to reborn gradually. 

The donors’ generosity makes the development of all these projects possible and thus to provide families while offering an economic and cultural influence to the village.

SOS Chrétiens d’Orient finances a series of micro-projects in order to rebuild a sustainable socio-economic fabric that brings hope back to the brave inhabitants of Maaloula who preferred to stay instead of emigrating. Maaloula is the symbol that allows us to believe in the reconstruction of a free and peaceful Syria. Thank you!




Volunteering is a commitment for a defined period. The volunteer is committed to a mission to serve others. To volunteer at SOS Chrétiens d’Orient you must:

- be older than 18 years old

- stay for a minimum for 1 month

- being in good physical shape

- have parental agreement for a possible departure

"I ask you to be revolutionary. Have the courage to go to counter-current. And also have the courage to be happy!" Pope Francis, July 28, speech to the volunteers of the WYD, Rio de Janeiro.

"I ask you to be revolutionaries. Have the courage to go against the grain. And have the courage to be happy!"

Pope Francis,

July 28, speech to WYD volunteers, Rio de Janeiro.