Some 25,000 winter coats are being gifted to children in Syria this Christmas.
The effort is being led by Sister Annie Demerjian and the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, with support from Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).
The thousands of coats have been made by tailors in Aleppo, northern Syria, which was devastated in the civil war.
Sister Annie said the gift of coats would not only keep children warm, but “give a boost to the local economy by helping our small local factories through the production of these garments”.
Although there is normally a shortage of material in the winter months, Sister Annie planned ahead and reserved the items needed to make the coats several months ago.
Cutting machine operator Rami said the order for the coats came at a “critical” time when they were “desperate for work”.
“You know how bad the present economic situation is in the country,” he said.
“So it is a great joy for us to be able to support ourselves over the next few months, thanks to this project of ACN. May God reward you.”
In total, 180 Syrians – both Christian and Muslim – are working across 30 workshops to make the coats.
The coats will be distributed to children in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Qamishli, Hassake, Sweida and Horan as Christmas gifts.
“Together, we can put a smile on the faces of the children,” said Sister Annie.