The Good Shepherd Sisters (GSS) have had a presence in Derry since 1919. The Parish wishes to mark this significant milestone in the history of the Good Shepherd Sisters by undertaking year-long fundraising activities in support of an outreach project at Good Shepherd Sisters Centre, Jdeided, (North Beruit) which opened in 1998.
The project supports 200 Lebanese and Syrian children and young people of this overpopulated, poor and marginalized region. The GSS aim to support and strengthen the education of children and young Lebanese and Syrian in Jdeideh and the surroundings (suburbs of the Northern part of Beirut) to mitigate the risk of violence, conflict and trauma.
Following the Lebanese civil war, regional conflicts and the influx of Syrian refugees, violence, abuse, sectarianism, radicalism and unemployment have intensified. Many children and young people find themselves without schools, families without income. Traumatised and marginalised, this disadvantaged population finds itself in a critical political and economic situation with no immediate way out.
The centre is a safe and welcoming space where the children receive personalised help. The children learn to live together, to respect each other, to respect each other in their difference and to make sense of their lives. The centre aims to consolidate the family structure. It provides space for women who live in a closed society, where they do not have the right to speak, where their opinions are rejected because they are women.