Beirut (Agenzia Fides) - The serious economic crisis that Lebanon has gone through, further aggravated by the Coronavirus pandemic, has seen the spontaneous initiatives of people multiply, who for the first time start to cultivate small land even in urban areas to produce food – fruit and vegetables - for personal and family consumption. In this context, various ecclesial subjects have become involved in direct support to the initiatives launched by associations of the sector to offer assistance and orientation especially to young people who are returning to engage in agricultural activity to ensure themselves and their families the supply of food in this time of crisis. On Tuesday 2 June, Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai also took part in the inaugural meeting for the launch of the agricultural training project "Land of your treasure", launched by the "Green Lebanon Club" Association and reserved for young people interested in developing agricultural production initiatives. The initiative, sponsored by the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture, is also supported by the Diane Foundation for sustainable development of the Saint-Joseph Jesuit University of Beirut, as well as by the Maronite Patriarchal Center for Human Development.
During the meeting of the project presentation, Father Tawfiq Bou Hader, director of the Center for Human Development of the Maronite Patriarchate, defined the community initiatives for the return to work of the earth put in place by young people as an important sign also of their desire to rediscover the link with the identity and treasures of one's nation. In his speech, Maronite Patriarch Rai also made an appeal to the Lebanese who live abroad, inviting them not to lose the roots of their belonging, also preserved through the resumption of agricultural activities conducted with environmental sustainability criteria. "The house that loses its mother becomes difficult to reunite", said Patriarch Rai, recalling that "if we lose the bond to our homeland, it will be difficult then to meet as Lebanese. For this reason we are always encouraged to take care of our land". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 3/6/2020)