Young Caritas Polish Bus initiative heads out to help Syrian Christians with pope’s blessing

This is the vehicle that transports hopes and dreams, most literally those of three Syrian exiles who escaped from their country to Poland during the war. The bus also carries the hope that the conflict in Syria ends as soon as possible.

BASHAR TOUMA
Syrian Refugee
“The war… as much as I speak I couldn’t deliver the real experience, because it is very hard to experience this kind of life – with the fights, with the battles, with the tanks in the street, with the people killing in front of you. We should be thankful for everything in our lives and the message that I hope this will end soon in all of the world. And all the world can have peace soon because it is really tragic.”

Bashar studies in Poland thanks to a grant from Caritas Poland and is a part of the Young Bus. This initiative will run through a hundred Polish cities, promoting volunteering for young people and seeking help for Syria.

The project could not have had a better kick-off point than this… Pope Francis’ blessing. They explained the objective of the initiative to him.

DANI TOUMA
Syrian Refugee
“To be with the pope was very impactful and important because he is a person who is very loved, and the whole world would like to meet him. To be able to pray with him and hug him was one of the best experiences in my life.”

Dani also was a Syrian refugee. He participates in this campaign as a concrete sign of solidarity with Syria. One example is the generosity of 17,000 Polish families who collaborate to maintain 12,000 Syrian families. With their help, Caritas Poland also transmits an important message.

MARCIN IZYCKI
Director, Caritas Poland
“Helping these young people from Syria and with this initiative, we can construct bridges, not walls. There are too many walls in the world, which is why we build bridges, which are invisible, but indestructible. In Syria, they’ve destroyed everything – streets, bridges, churches – but the Polish have built a bridge of solidarity that can’t be destroyed because it goes from heart to heart.”

Another objective of this bus is calling attention to the situation Christians face who are suffering persecution. Inside the bus, is an image of Our Lady of Aleppo.

BASHAR TOUMA
Syrian Refugee
“This is very important for us because Syria from old times was a big place for Christian people. It is very important always to keep those people inside, in the middle of the world. We have the important goal to keep the people and to stay and to fight the struggle they have in their lives.”

These young Syrians, who have been helped thanks to Caritas, want to share the solidarity they have received and be the best ambassadors for Syria. That way, no one forgets that the land where St. Paul was converted needs peace more than ever.