Some of you may remember Maya Rupert, her husband Roger and sons James and Patrick. Maya was in Kamloops from 2000 to 2011. During this time she was studying, completing her PHD, on the faculty at TRU and caring for James and Patrick when Roger was out of town with his engineering job. In 2004 they started coming to St. Paul’s when Patrick was one week old. Maya became involved with the Sunday School for quite some years and James also served. Maya’s Mother Hoda who lives in Lebanon also visited and was a welcomed friend in the Cathedral.

James just graduated and was accepted at 4 universities in Canada in Engineering Science. He chose the Univ. of Toronto. Patrick is 16yrs old and is in High School.

Maya is currently an associate professor of the Computer Science Dept. of the Notre Dame University in Louaize-Lebanon and is well known for her research in how technology affects children. Her work has been cited throughout the world.

3 yrs ago she was a co-founder and Vice President of an NGO called LARA for the addiction of children with technology and they are now working tirelessly in the clean up of Beirut.

I was friends with Maya and her family and have kept in touch. After the disaster in Beirut Maya told me that she had been in the harbor area where the explosion occurred just 30 mins before.

Maya asked me if I would share her story with our church community. Some activities and work of the NGO that Maya and her family have been involved in:

The first day 15 volunteers mainly the boys and friends went to the site for cleaning houses,& shops. They covered the broken windows, and doors with plastic and tape. They coordinated with Caritas and helped the Lebanese Red Cross to distribute food. (Caritas Lebanon strives for overall human, social & environmental development to improve the quality of life of all people in need. They are committed to helping every vulnerable person regardless of race, creed, identity or beliefs.)

     The next day:

     7:30  To a public school to pick up all the glass from the ground glass from the whole school.

     10:00  To an Old Age House for 3 hrs of work.

     Lunch

     14:30  Went to the square to sort bags of debris

Saturday

Distribute food boxes with a Christian youth organization to 30 houses on a street in a very poor area.

Another day they did a 10 hr. shift and cleaned the entire floor of the archiving floor in the rosary Hospital, a Christian hospital run by nuns.

If you would like to donate to LARA 

Maya told me that the website is very secure and has been tested and that LARA is receiving the funds. I used my credit card and received a donation confirmation. No tax receipt available!! Maya is notified of the name of the donors. She is very appreciative.

The website of LARA is  https://laraa.org/donate/en

Be aware that the donation is to be made in American dollars.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Jo-Mary Hunter – article by Jo-Mary Hunter

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