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Dec 28, 2016

Our actions in Syria



Before the 2011 conflict, Syria had 22 million inhabitants, covering an area of 186,000 km². The Syrian constitution is secular (socialist-Baathist) but stipulates that the president of the republic must be Muslim. Islam is the dominant religion but not the state religion.

The assumption of power in 2000 by Bashar al-Assad (Alawite), after the death of his father (in power since 1970), had raised great hopes both for the population itself and for the international community, with the stated will to take a set of measures necessary for the democratization and modernization of Syria. However, since March 2011, Syria has entered a deadly conflict, following 6 months of peaceful popular protest. Although the regime's armed forces opposed the rebel opposition groups demanding the departure of Bashar al-Assad and the establishment of a democratic regime, it has gradually become more complex with the multiplication of armed groups with various alliances and motivations. According to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, 220,000 people have been killed and there are more than 1 million wounded. The rise of extremist groups such as the Islamic State organization in 2014 is contributing to the deterioration of the situation of civilians, targets of indiscriminate attacks.

After five years of armed conflict, the needs in Syria are glaring. Approximately 4.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the hard-to-reach and besieged areas of a total Syrian population of 18 million. On the other hand, at least 8.7 million people are unable to meet their food needs and 70% of the population lacks access to safe drinking water. Many Syrians have been forced to leave their homes, often several times, making Syria the biggest displacement crisis in the world with 6.5 million internally displaced people and almost 4 million Syrians registered as refugees in Syria's neighboring countries.

The country's economic situation is seriously affected by the general insecurity, destruction of vital infrastructure (roads, water supply networks, electricity, etc.), economic and financial measures imposed on the country, Deregulation of markets.

In addition, 2.4 million children under the age of 5 are at risk of food insecurity. 24.5% of schools have been damaged, destroyed or used as shelters, leaving nearly 2 million children out of school.

In times of emergency, education is often sacrificed, with the available funds being used primarily to cover the basic and vital needs of affected populations. But it plays a crucial role in the return to normality and peace. Education creates an environment that allows children to overcome the trauma of conflict. It has been proven that bringing children back to school quickly, during or after a crisis is one of the best ways to protect them. Schools provide children with spaces where they can learn in safety. This return to a normal life is essential for children to rebuild and build their future. In the longer term, education can contribute directly to social stability and to the economic and political development of societies.


Since the beginning of the crisis, Secours Catholique and its partner Caritas Syrie have implemented programs around five operational sectors defined as priorities by the organization: food security, housing assistance, medical aid, education, support for the elderly and psychosocial support that helped 53,342 families, or 357,428 individuals.



In Aleppo, seven projects supported by Secours Catholique have already been implemented in priority areas of Caritas Syria for a total amount of 914,249€ in 2016, including:
- 4 educational projects aimed at children and young students,
- 3 medical and support projects for the elderly.


Few examples of our actions among these projects :

1/ Humanitarian assistance to Syrian, Iraqi and host populations in Jordan
We started this project in january 2016. The objective of this project is to provide emergency assistance to Syrian, Iraqi and vulnerable host populations. It targets 23,000 beneficiaries in 8 governorates of Jordan.
This project has three components of emergency humanitarian assistance. In the first phase, which concerns health and accounts for 65% of the total budget , primary and secondary health care have been provided to 10 000 and 5 000 patients respectively. Maternal and infant care have also been provided to 1,000 pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under 5 years of age. Regarding the second component, food and non-food aid (33% of the budget) have been provided to 1,000 vulnerable households. Activities related to the third component has provided psychosocial support (2% budget) to 2,000 beneficiaries, through focus groups and awareness sessions.
The total amount of expenditure Secours Catholique paid in this project is € 150,000.

2/ Psychological and psychosocial support for refugee families in Lebanon
The conflict in Syria, which began in 2011 and then in Iraq, resulted in a massive influx of refugees into Lebanon. By 2016, there are 1.1 million (registered) Syrian refugees in Lebanon who have fled the conflict. To this number are added 313,000 Palestinians, including 44,000 from Syria and 17,000 Iraqis. Massive arrivals combined with the Lebanese economic-political crisis have brought enormous humanitarian needs to the country.
In terms of specific needs, children and adolescents, who account for more than half of the refugee population, pay the high price of the Syrian conflict. Refugee children are mostly out-of-school, particularly vulnerable to street work, mistreatment, human trafficking, recruitment into armed forces, etc.
The objective of the project is to provide psychological support and access to ed


Dec 27, 2016

Housing - Creation of a social real estate agency


The housing crisis has been a reality for many years. According to the Abbé Pierre Foundation in its last report on poor housing, there would be 3.8 million people not or badly housed (of which nearly 1 million in Ile-de-France), to which are added nearly 7 Millions of people in a situation of real fragility (degraded housing, unpaid rents, situation of over-occupation or even hosted by third parties). For the most modest households, housing is the most important expenditure. It represents 55% of their consumption budget, compared to food (17%) and transport (12%).

Particularity to the Ile-de-France region, Secours Catholique has identified people living in hotels as among the poorest in our communes. The majority are families, who are often in a precarious administrative situation. The situation of families staying in hotels is a major concern of the Secours Catholique teams in Ile-de-France. Indeed, the hotel is a proposal for accommodation increasing in the region, almost 400% in ten years.

Today, nearly 35,000 people, redirected by the Samu Social, are accommodated in hotels, mostly in the Paris suburbs. The hotels are often badly located, far from transport, shops, public services. The members of the family live in the promiscuity of their room, without intimacy, a situation favorable to the emergence of various sufferings, sometimes of violence and always tensions. The quality of the places is often deplorable (rats, molds, cockroaches ...), it is impossible to cook, hence the dependence on networks of solidarity, malnutrition, forced assistantship.

At the end of 2015, 600,000 households were waiting for social housing in Ile-de-France and only 82,418 social housing units had been allocated in 2015, ie 1 grant for about 8 applications. In 2015, there were 1,220,951 social housing units in Ile-de-France.

Although the social housing production activity in Ile-de-France has been in significant evolution for several years (the annual production level of social housing has doubled compared to 10 years ago, 30,100 social housing units financed in 2015), It can not meet the very high demand for social housing (640,000 applications registered in the national registration system). Indeed, despite an increase in production, the number of dwellings allocated each year does not follow this trend, due to the fall in turnover rates within the social park.

Other characteristics of the Ile-de-France: an social housing park very unevenly distributed on the regional territory with strong concentrations in certain territories, very high urban renewal needs and growing risks of ghettoisation, a very fragmented institutional context and Skills in urban planning and housing, spread over multiple territorial scales.

Ile-de-France won't emerge from the housing crisis with the only construction of social housing, indispensable, but currently insufficient. For the years to come, the capture of the existing private park for the benefit of the most deprived is therefore a necessity and represents a fundamental stake for the fight against housing and social mixing in the city center.

Some associations have already committed themselves to allow everyone access to housing, whatever their means of living. And 23 associations and cooperatives societies members of the Federation of Associations and Actors for the Promotion and Integration through Housing (FAAPIH) lodge vulnerable households in decent housing and adapted to their needs and their resources. These organizations can lease low-rent housing in a secure way for homeowners. Today, about 1,600 owners, including several local authorities, rely on these organizations in FAAPIH Ile-de-France.

Key figures to remember

- 3.8 million homeless people, including 150,000 people on the streets,

- 11 million people affected by the housing crisis,

- 1.2 million applicants for social housing,

- 2.3 million vacant premises in total, of which 2/3 belong to legal persons and 1/3 to private individuals,

- 500,000 vacant units in the 6 largest cities of France (Paris, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nice, Toulouse).

Actions of the Secours Catholique in the field of housing

The right to housing for the most deprived populations is a fundamental right for which Secours Catholique has been active since its creation.

Accommodations are part of the history of Secours Catholique, from the tents installed by our founder, Jean Rodhain, at the Porte d'Orléans during the winter of 1954 until today. Indeed, Secours Catholique has created during its history, various cities, prototypes of an accommodation for people in precarious situation. In 1990, he consolidated these institutions financed mainly by public funds in an association, the Association des Cités du Secours Catholique, which Secours Catholique have been supporting since the beginning.

What we do in favor of housing

  • Housing in a hotel - Copyright Secours Catholique
  • cooking workshop for hotel families - copyright Secours Catholiq

  • Attachments:
    Oct 2, 2016

    Families' house

    Families' house of Annecy
    Families' house of Annecy

    Families, including single-parent families, represent more than 50% of situations met by Secours Catholique-Caritas France annually, making them our public priority. For 70 years now, Secours Catholique has developed many means to help them, from educational support for children, through workshops, socialization group, to social grocery stores and solidarity shops, not to mention financial aid to those families.
    To go even further on this path and with the desire to bring families durably out of precariousness, Secours Catholique, in collaboration with Apprentis d’Auteuil, wants to develop a parenting support system, "Families’ House", whose primary mission is to help parents restore trust and find solutions to their difficulties.

    The "Families’ House” principles
    The purpose of "Families’ House” is to welcome every family no matter the situation there are in at the moment, without judgment. It is a place that allows parents and children to spend time together, but also to promote exchanges between parents and between children.
    The main axis of work of "Families’ House” is parenting and education. The parenting support is understood in a very broad sense. The objectives of the "Families’ House” are :
    - To help people in vulnerable situation to overcome the psychological barriers of stigma and guilt,
    - To increase the families’ autonomy, both individually and collectively, thus contributing to develop their resistance to the constraints imposed by others,
    - To allow families to determine for themselves the ways to focus on their development or, if that is the case, on their fight against vulnerability factors.

    The "Families’ House” is an episode in the families’ journey. It should not disconnect them from the social reality they live every day. It must enable them to become aware of their difficulties, that they are not alone to experience problems, that their problems are influenced by life in our society and, therefore, that solutions can be set by acting collectively to get a wellness, a "better life". Given the precariousness overwhelming everyday life, "we dare not to speak." The idea of the "Families’ House” is to create a climate of confidence, an environment that makes it possible for families to talk, express their feelings, ask questions or just make a "pause".... The "Families’ Houses" gives value to the word family.

    How does a "Families’ House” works ?
    The "Families’ House” offers parents various services: reception, advice, guidance, support and meetings to prevent the occurrence of major difficulties with their children and help them overcome a confrontational or difficult situation. It is a place where parents, professionals and volunteers can communicate and it allows the hatching of skills and knowledge for the participants, parents and children.
    Parents are welcomed with their children individually or with other families. They can enjoy a space where they are lead to :
    - Express the difficulty and anxiety they feel in their children’s education
    - Learn to live together as a family, based on their parenting skills,
    - Positively exercise their parental authority,
    - Establish a framework for their daily family life,
    - Reinvest their parenting role with respect to their children and their family social environment,
    - Journey to personal and family development.

    The "Families’ House” is under the responsibility of an home manager, helped by an educator and a team of volunteers whose missions are :
    - To welcome and accompany families within the structure,
    - To create and animate activities,
    - To conduct occasional interviews with the families.

    The "Families’ House” is usually open to the public 4 days a week; a day being reserved for internal evaluation of the families situations, organizing home, etc. Activities can also be organized through the weekend thanks to the commitment of the volunteers.

    Today, there are two "Families’ Houses”, one in Annecy (Haute-Savoie), the other in Auchel (Pas de Calais).

    The most recent, "Families’ Houses” of Annecy, opened in April 2016. € 15 000 worth of work have been done before opening this place. The current team consists in two employees and five volunteers. More than twenty families are being helped now.

    A third "Families’ House” project is planned in Ermont, Val d'Oise. The location of the house, short distance from sensitive areas but easily accessible by public transport, will concern families from these areas and promote social diversity.

    The house provided by the city of Ermont is about 130m² and spreads over 2 levels. It also includes a garage and a garden. Some existing spaces such as the kitchen and the bathroom can be used as it is.

    The "Families’ House” is not a social or administrative center; it is necessary to develop it this way to make it beautiful, warm and friendly. Thus, the various dedicated areas such as reception, children's area, multipurpose room (discussion group, workshops etc.) and outside space, have to be fitted. More confidential areas will also be offered to allow face to face interviews.

    Work is also to be performed on safety matters in order to meet public buildings standards. The total amount of this work is estimated at € 30,000 including investment to refurbish the house.

    We hope to inaugurate this third "Families’ House” by the 2nd quarter of 2017.

    Families' house of Annecy
    Families' house of Annecy
    Maison des Familles
    Maison des Familles

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