Winter came early to Kosovo, with snow capping mountains above the villages of Brestovik and Siga by mid-October. That hasn’t stopped Miodrag from being able to provide his family of six a bounty of fresh, organically grown produce using the greenhouse that he built last year with assistance from IOCC. Kosovo is mainly rural with about half of the population small-scale farmers eking out a living in remote villages. During the armed conflict in 1999, all 1,000 residents from Brestovik and Siga fled their homes to seek refuge in Serbia and Montenegro. Only 58 families, approximately 135 people, have returned to their homes in the two villages and now live in isolation and uncertainty.
Freezing temperatures, heavy snow and chilling winds sweeping across Syria are putting thousands of young lives in jeopardy as displaced mothers struggle helplessly to keep their small children warm and sheltered from the harsh winter conditions. Many live in shelled out buildings with no doors or windows to keep frigid weather out, or in temporary shelters with no heat. The need for warm clothing is great.
The Armenian Diocese in Georgia has celebrated the first major feast of 2015, the Feast of Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ. On the evening of January 5th, a Candlelight Divine Liturgy was held in all the churches of the Diocese.
Except for going to church services all the population of Sierra Leone was instructed to stay home during the Christmas and New Year holidays. We are currently under a semi – lockdown mode for the Festive Season. No restaurants, no sporting events, no public celebrations, no wedding receptions, no street celebrations, all shops must close on weekdays by 6.00 PM, by noon of Saturdays and no trading on Sundays . Even church services were restricted – they were to be held during the day and only up to 5.00 PM. New Year Church Service was forbidden. Indeed the army and patrol volunteers are still out in force to ensure these decrees. Violators face the full weight of the law. Add to that list of prohibition, school, college or university attendance.
Pope Francis called Friday for authorities to reject the corruption that has plagued this Asian nation for decades and urged them to instead work to end its "scandalous" poverty as he brought his message of social justice to Filipinos who cheered him wildly at every turn.