TURKEY: (CNS Video) Salesian center offers haven for Iraqi, Syrian children in Istanbul

By at April 9, 2015 | 1:38 pm | Print

TURKEY: (CNS Video) Salesian center offers haven for Iraqi, Syrian children in Istanbul

By Elie Gardner, Catholic News Service

ISTANBUL (CNS) — Basima Toma teaches English to about 40 children at the Don Bosco youth center.

A young Iraqi boy stands at the chalkboard with a plastic ruler in his hand and spells out the words W-I-N-T-E-R, S-P-R-I-N-G, S-U-M-M-E-R, A-U-T-U-M-N.

Toma and her family have been in Istanbul long enough to see each of these seasons come and go, more than once. In 2012 Toma, her husband and four children left their home in Baghdad.

Toma and her family are Chaldean Catholics. In Baghdad, as Christian-owned businesses were targeted and destroyed, Toma worried more and more for her children’s safety. One of her daughters was the only Christian in her classroom.

“Now I don’t fear for my children,” Toma says. “I put my head on my pillow and am not afraid when they are not with me.”

Read full story from Catholic News Service >

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Related MissionNewswire story: TURKEY: Salesian Missionaries Aid Close to 400 Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Iraq Middle East OTHER Salesian News (not SM specific) Syria Turkey

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