KAIROS network shows solidarity for partners in the Middle East
“In this moment, we must all don the robe of humanity. It is a time to stand together as Canadians, Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Jews, Israelis and Christians as one soul. We must show that none is ignored or considered unworthy of a secure and prosperous life.”
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, Palestinian physician and the author of I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey, Toronto Star, July 31, 2014
In response to the violence and military action in Israel and Palestine, KAIROS issued a call to our network on August 8th for messages and prayers of solidarity and peace for our partners in the region and the communities they support.
Within only a few days we had received more than 60 responses from our network across Canada – urgent, heart-felt, hopeful and strong messages and prayers, which we compiled into a booklet and sent to our partners.
We also posted the messages on a 4×6 foot banner with a photo of a playground in Bethlehem, mounting the banner on a wall in the Toronto KAIROS office as a visible display of solidarity. The next time someone from KAIROS is in the region, we will give this banner to our partners.
The messages of appreciation from partners upon receipt of this gesture of solidarity and peace were profoundly moving.
“What a wonderful idea and initiative. Truly no stronger force than the power of love and prayer. We are very fortunate for our partnership and friendship,” wrote Omar Haramy from Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center. The Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR) sent the following response: “Thanks for the messages of solidarity, which give us the chance to see the light despite of the dark world that we live in. Keep us in your prayers.”
KAIROS has a long history of accompanying partners in Israel and Palestine in their work for human rights and for a just and lasting peace. Currently, we are supporting the Jerusalem Centre for Women, and Wi’am: Palestinian Conflict Resolution Centre in their work to end violence against women and to promote women’s role in peace-building at a local, national and international level.
Both are key partners in our Women of Courage program. As well, we continue to support the DSPR, a department of the Middle East Council of Churches with a mandate to provide assistance to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza. Through DSPR, KAIROS has supported vocational training and health care programs in Gaza, and land reclamation and water projects in the West Bank.
KAIROS thanks everyone who responded to our call in such a timely, thoughtful and compassionate way. Once again you have shown that KAIROS is blessed with a wonderful responsive and caring network.
For more information, please contact Rachel Warden (firstname.lastname@example.org), Gender Justice Program Coordinator.