About 4 000 carol singers in the Cologne Cathedral in Germany have begun a campaign to collect donations that will benefit refugee children at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa.
The initiative is part of a campaign to give hope and comfort to children in refugee camps.
At Dzaleka, which shelters about 17 000 refugees, the money will support school projects and programmes for trauma therapy for children.
The German children and teenagers, clad in the robes of the three Magi, will be going door to door singing to collect the donations.
President of the Kindermissions “Die Sternsinger” Dr Klaus Kramer, who is organising the programme, said the initiative aims to give refugee children love and hope.
“Refugee children usually have to experience evil. They are far from home, especially at risk and vulnerable. The way back is often dangerous.
“Permanent reception and integration in the host country or in a safe third country is hardly possible. In Southern Africa, for example, a refugee lives in a camp from the age of 17 and most of them stay there up to 25 years,” said Kramer.
Also involved in the campaign is the association of Catholic youth in Germany, the Bund der Deutschen Katholischen Jugend.
In 2013, the carol singers raised 43.7 million euros for the global project.
Cardinal Meisner, who set off the youth on the mission to collect the donations, said young people in the Catholic Church have a role to play in improving people’s lives in their communities and societies.
“The first to have truly become a blessing to Jesus and his family were the Magi. Now you carol singers will bring so much blessing to the country because you go to people in their houses and you will make all happy,” said 80-year-old Meisner.
The theme of the campaign is ‘Bring blessing, his blessing. Hope for refugee children in Malawi and worldwide.’