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21 December 2021 -  Following the success of the Filipino community (FilCom) event in partnership with St. Joseph Church in Tabaris on 19 December 2021, meeting was held between Embassy representatives headed by Ambassador Raymond Balatbat and Father Daniel Corrou SJ, Regional Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) for the Middle East and North Africa on 21 December 2021. The Philippine Embassy recognizes the opportunity to strengthen it ties with religious institutions which are involved in outreach activities that target the needs of immigrants in Lebanon.

IMG 0485 meeting w jesuit refugee service representativeIMG 0486

 

During the said meeting, the following programs and initiatives are planned to be conducted in FY 2022 by the Philippine Embassy in partnership with JRS:

•  Fr. Corrou offered the use of the multipurpose function hall of St. Joseph Church for Embassy-led FilCom engagements such as seminars and workshops (e.g. financial literacy, anti-VAWC, Lebanese immigration laws, cultural and health programs among others).

•  The Embassy also expressed its interest to hold its National Day engagement with FilCom at St. Joseph Church where Fr. Corrou will celebrate mass in honor of the event as 12 June 2022 falls on a Sunday.

• Both parties also discussed the possibility of reviving the Filipino language learning classes for children of overseas Filipinos in Lebanon, especially during the August celebration of the Filipino language (i.e. Buwan ng Wika).  JRS also conducts Arabic, French, and English language learning sessions for migrants in Beirut.

• Fr. Corrou committed to helping the Embassy in further improving the communication lines with the FilCom through timely and proper referral of Assistance To Nationals (ATN) cases brought to them and information dissemination after Sunday mass.

• The Embassy raised its plans to support the spiritual needs of the wards in its shelter through a retreat or counseling at St. Claire's Monastery.  Fr. Corrou then offered to say a dedicated mass and spiritual guidance for them when the activity pushes through.

Partnership with JRS and other similar institutions, including non-government organizations (NGOs), are vital in bringing the Embassy's services closer to the FilCom, thereby improving its public engagement. END