A Maronite Eparchy of Australia appeal to help educate impoverished students in Lebanon has so far raised more than $530,000.
The Lebanese School Appeal, a collaboration between the eparchy and Maronites on Mission, was endorsed by Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Rai, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, when he visited Australia last month.
The appeal was officially initiated during two dinner events in honour of the Maronite Patriarch on September 16 and 21, in Sydney and Melbourne respectively, as part of his visit on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the establishment of the Maronite Eparchy in Australia.
The appeal raised a total of $531,044.69, thanks to the generous response of guests who empathised with the challenging conditions faced by students and their families, and the current impact on the education sector in their homeland.
Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, Eparch of the Maronite Eparchy of Australia, New Zealand and Oceania said, “I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this appeal in any way. Funds raised will go directly towards the school fees of some 700 students severely affected by the ongoing economic crisis, in 12 schools across all regions of Lebanon.
“While not insignificant, this is a modest contribution when compared with the increasing need, and just one step towards addressing a vast shortfall and the major educational challenge facing parents and students in Lebanon.
“For this reason, we have also decided to launch and promote the Lebanese School Appeal initiative through our parishes and organisations, for the coming years. It is now crucial to work together to secure children’s right to access education and ensure brighter prospects in a country that has lost so much hope.”