Who We Are
St. Ephrem Patriarchal Development Committee, EPDC, is a non-governmental organization, operating under the supervision of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, directly subordinated to His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II.
The Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch started this current humanitarian project starting at the beginning of the crisis in Iraq, when people started to flee from Iraq to Syria in 2003 and continued in the years that followed.
In 2011, due to the crisis in Syria, and its disastrous consequences with the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people and their movement towards the capital Damascus, The Late Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I († 21/03/2014) gave his blessing to form a committee in order to serve the people most in need.
This committee specifically focuses their effort with the affairs of development and relief by providing the assistance for those who are directly or indirectly affected by the crisis, starting from the Patriarchate located in Bab Touma (Old Damascus) and the surrounding neighborhoods with the goal to reach the entire country of Syria by 2017.
Mission and Vision
A more grown, developed and peaceful society based on the foundations of ethics and human values.
Provide the necessary needs to ensure that people living in poverty and under oppression have the ability to improve their living conditions and develop their capabilities to have a better life.
- Helping people is their Right and every member of the committee duty.
- Serve our brothers in humanity.
- Respect for human.
- Special attention to children and women empowerment.
- Joy in service.
- Transparency and non-discrimination.
- Internally displaced Syrian families
- Syrian residents directly affected by the crises and countless terrorist acts
- Syrian refugees in Lebanon
- Iraqi refugees in Syria
- People with special needs
Locations We Serve
- Damascus City & Rural
- al Beqaa -Zahleh
We focus on three areas of assistance through the EPDC – Relief , Development and Peace Building Initiatives
- Humanitarian response programs
- In-Kind Parcels Distribution
Food & NFIs distribution , Winterization items .. etc
- Rent Subsidies Program
Helping displaced families with cash for temporary rent and housing subsidies.
- Monthly Allowances Programs
Providing Cash money aids to families who are classified below poverty line.
- Health care program:
Providing medical services through a network of doctors and Medical institutions, and cover medical expenses including surgeries, X-rays and medicine.
- Urgent financial aid projects
Financial aid offered to the families that are directly affected by the terrorist attacks
Special Assistance for People with Special Needs
Early Recovery & Livelihoods Projects/ Cash for Work Projects
This program objective is to create job opportunities for IDPs along with the most vulnerable families from the hosting communities, to maintain stable income for them, with a special attention to female headed household, from these projects:
- Keep it Clean (solid waste)
Solid waste disposal & Cash for work Project
- Early Recovery & Livelihoods Projects/ Productive workshops
- My Career is My Life (Crochet, Candles, and Quilts workshops)
Supporting IDPs women through providing Job opportunities in Dekron & Wools workshops
- Furniture Workshop:
Helping IDPs Carpenters to go back to their career through working in a furniture workshop
- Productive Kitchen:
Supporting IDPs women through providing Job opportunities in a productive Kitchen for all kinds of foods.
- Capacity Building Projects
- Vocational training
Vocational training is addressing a different target groups:
- Vocational training for women: the committee organizes special courses in sewing and crochet and various household skills especially for mothers in order to help them earn money.
- Special courses for and fresh graduates
- Education Program:
this program aim to support Education in Syria in many ways:
- School and University scholarship
- Renovation & Logistic support for schools and educational institutes
- Remedial informal education Courses
- Financial aids for displaced students
Peace Building and Social Initiative
This initiatives aims to advocate for peace, Tolerance and social cohesion:
Psychosocial Support initiative:
- Child Friendly Space
Working with 450 IDPs children in the sections of Informal Education, Psychosocial support and Recreational Activities to develop their skills and heal from the consequences of the ongoing conflict.
- Peace Letters initiative:
Advocating for peace and tolerance among 700 children in 7 Syrian provinces through art, music and physcsocial support activities.
- Aahed w Nour:
Worked with young people to strengthen their connection to their Syrian identity and to work with them to explore the history and learn about other Syrian Culture.
- The love gathers us “Art for peace”:
Supporting all kind of talents “Art, Composing , singing.. etc ” and to Encourage young people to use their talents for building peace in Syria
- Back To Learning:
Advocating for the importance of Education, help drop-out students to go back to school, and to eliminate all kind of discrimination between IDPs student and the students from the hosted communities.
- Together we live:
Rehabilitating a public garden in a damaged area and equip it with a theatre to be a destination of the local families along with organizing regular activities there, this initiative also aims to integrate the local families with IDPs families.
- Regional and international organizations
- Donations from the Syriac Orthodox Archdioceses worldwide
- Religious institutions and other charities
- Donations from church faithful (monetary and non-monetary donations)
- Patriarchal income that is set apart for helping the poor and needy
The committee is seeking to develop their own capabilities to set up self-funding projects
Kerk in Actie (The Netherlands)
Mennonite Central Committee [MCC]
Barnabas Funds (Great Britain)
Aramaic Relief (Switzerland)
Christian Solidarity International [CSI]
MECC (Middle East Council of Churches)
FDCD ) Lebanon)
Gabriel & Co (USA)
Help us to turn compassion into action