For seven years, the 20.000 inhabitants of the small Christian town of Mahardah are besieged by Al-Nusra terrorists (now known as Fatah al-sham). Sixty-three people have already been killed by rockets and mortars, randomly fired by terrorists. At every rocket attack, children rush into schools.

Al-Nusra's looters are trying to conquer Mahardah, a symbol of the historical presence of Christianity in Syria. Today the Al-Nusra trenches are 500 metres from the city gates and the terrorists have received new launchers and new Grad missiles. What will happen to these people if the terrorists overwhelm them?

Benjamin Blanchard, general director of SOS Chrétiens d’Orient

We were impressed by the courage of these young Syrians who defend terrorism and extremism. We wanted to show our solidarity to those who defend their land, defend their families and their village.

At the end of March 2017, the inhabitants were so afraid that they fled to the mountain, despite the cold, while men remained in the trenches to defend the city. Missile attacks by terrorists on the city are no longer daily but they remain frequent and dangerous.

In July 2017, SOS Chrétiens d’Orient decided to make a gesture for the families of the 75 martyrs killed during the attacks of Fatah Al-Sham, which continued unabated for seven years. The association corganised a food truck of supplies for the village.

 During a ceremony in the presence of the parish vicar, volunteers gives each martyr family a plentiful food aid box and a small amount of money. The atmosphere is solemn and the widows of martyrs are dressed in black. This modest aid will relieve them and their families a little bit. The donation to the families of martyrs is made in great simplicity. The ceremony takes place in the parish hall of Mhardah and begins with a prayer for the families of the victims.

After the fall of jihadists, the city is filled again, young people return and are proud of their defenders who are mainly men of national defence and the emergency brigade. These defenders are very much loved by the people; indeed even children are ready to go with them to the front.

However, the city is only the shadow of itself, the multiple damages made by missiles and the repeating bombing are colossal! We have supported more than 3.000 families of martyrs and combatants who suffer due to the price explosion of basic necessities of life. We need to help the Syrians who fight for their land and their families. The food and blankets distributed by the association are an example of concrete help that we can bring to the people.



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.