Newsletter May 2022

Dear Members and Friends,

The human consequences of the war in Ukraine, and the actions we have taken to help victims both in the country and among the refugees, have been the focus of much of our previous correspondence. We will come back to this in this correspondence, but it is also necessary to inform you about the other fronts of Vivere’s work.

1° Syria

The number of infants receiving supplementary feeding at the end of March was 65. In February the team took on 25 new cases, with another 15 added in March. Reminder: among the most vulnerable families, this assistance is given to babies from birth to 6th month of age.

Baby Aghyad with his sibling group of four!

2° Fighting against the punishment of those accused of blasphemy: success in defending the first case we have taken on!

Our movement is committed to the protection of those who, in several countries around the world, risk their lives under this kind of accusation from another age. In one of the countries concerned we have already been at work for several months providing legal defence for several accused of blasphemy, both adults and minors. Thanks to the courageous action of our local lawyer friend, it is now good to share with you this first result: Malika (not her real name) was imprisoned on 15 August 2020, falsely accused by an anonymous call to the police of having burned pages of the Koran in the middle of the city while holding her 4-month-old baby on her lap. The legal defence we provided led to her acquittal and release last January, after five months of detention, which was all the more worrying because she was facing the death penalty.

3° Support for Ukrainian victims and refugees

We remain very actively committed to assisting the greatest possible number of people affected by this war in Ukraine itself, as well as in Moldova, Transnistria and Poland, where one of our staff went in April to work with our partner on the spot.

In a nutshell:

  • In Kharkiv, Ukraine: despite the incessant bombing, with the support of Vivere our friend G. continues to provide daily food rations to people forced to take shelter in the corridors of the metro. In the Historical Museum station, he is helping to set up a reception area for young children who can find some peace and quiet, study, draw and play. Finally, as a lawyer, G. also offers legal advice to displaced people.
  • In Costesti, Moldova: Elena and her team continue to provide accommodation and care for several dozen refugees.
  • In Transnistria, Natalia and her team continue to provide basic necessities for nearly 80 refugees hosted in their homes by local people.
  • In Krakow & region, Poland: our friends from ass. Avenir use the resource provided by Vivere to assist some of the weakest mothers and children. Between 9 and 30 April, 82 refugees were helped.

The numerous spontaneous donations received by Vivere have so far made it possible to cover the following expenses for the work described above:

Our deepest gratitude goes to the donors who have so generously mobilised themselves, enabling us to start these actions very soon after the outbreak of the war by the criminal Kremlin clique. You are thus fulfilling the vocation of Vivere as it was conceived at the beginning: direct and very rapid help to the victims of exactions, without wasting administrative costs and without bureaucratic delays to take action.

It is clear that our partners on the ground need resources to maintain vital assistance to displaced people and refugees. We look forward to your continued trust and support in this regard.

With gratitude to these two friendly organisations we inform you of the following initiatives:

Wednesday 4 May: the Immigration Museum in Lausanne will host a presentation of our work.
Sunday 15 May: the Fondation Sentinelles will dedicate the proceeds of this beautiful concert to the reinforcement of the work of Vivere’s partners. We hope to see many of you at 5pm at Les Terreaux Cultural Centre, Lausanne

4° Pakistan: campaign and multiple actions for the abolition of the death penalty and life imprisonment for minors.

Over the past months, several awareness-raising and training sessions have been held for judicial and probation officers, aiming to ensure that they master the legal tools they can and should use to counter the extreme sentences that children (at the time of the alleged offence) are likely to face in court.

The 7 events presented here below involved collaboration with over 200 professionals across 3 provinces of the country: Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan. The work was shared between our local partners MRDO, LAW and SANJOG.

This large-scale action aims to rectify deficiencies in the juvenile justice system by ensuring that every child in conflict with the law is treated in a way that is legally compatible with his or her age, away from unbearable punishment.

Karachi, 18 December 2021
Lahore, 14 et 15 February 2022 (in presence of Mike and with the intervention at distance of Bernard by Skype)
Bahawalnagar, March 2022
Quetta, 30 March 2022
Sariab, 31 March 2022
Mustang, 31 March 2022
Larkana, 12 April 2022

Please remember this date now:

The next Vivere General Assembly is scheduled for
Thursday 16 June, 7pm, in Lausanne.

Please keep this date and your presence will be important.

Thank you for your attention.

The Committee of Vivere