Paying it Forward
Posted January 17, 2018
Syrian Refugees in Jordan
*Mina is a Syrian woman from Damascus City who likes to volunteer and help others. She is married and has two girls and one boy. One day she met with Rami and said, “If you need any help, a volunteer, let me know because I am willing to help.” Mina volunteered her time and a year later, Rami called her to ask about visiting. As they were talking, Mina said to Rami, “I know you. Once you called and invited me to a gathering. I remember that there was a distribution of food boxes and heaters for Syrian refugees. I even remember what you shared during the meeting. You encouraged the refugees to not only take but to also give. You shared a story of an old poor woman who had only two coins and she gave them all. On the day you said this, I gave 35 dinars (about $1.50), which was all I had in my wallet. Later that same day, I received a call from someone from Kuwait who was going to contribute an amount of money to me and my family.”
Families Adopting Families
*Sham is a mother of four children, three boys and a girl. One of her sons is married with three children and lives with his mother. The other two sons both have mental health disabilities and Sham’s daughter is blind. They are from Qaraqosh, Iraq, where Sham had a small shop to support the family. The married son was an electrician and worked in hotels. Sham’s other two sons helped her a lot in running her shop.
The family’s situation has been very rough. They had been living a good life, a peaceful life, until a violent group attacked their village. After a bombing incident and the death of their neighbors, the family decided to escape to Erbil and stayed in a center named the Etihad Al Talaba society. Their journey did not stop there, it was actually just beginning. The family moved to caravans and stayed there for a year and a half, sharing their private lives with so many other families who were also running away. Life wasn’t easy. The process was a shock and fear and stress weakened all of the families. Questions and uncertainty filled the air as everyone asked, “What do we do? Where do we go next?”
With a blind daughter and two disabled sons, life was very overwhelming for Sham. One day, an electric shock struck some of the caravans and burnt them. Once again, Sham and her family had to move and decided to come to Jordan. Now they are suffering in many additional ways, including financially and physically. All of the stress is causing Sham to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and one of her sons is now suffering from diabetes.
GHNI Assistant Regional Field Leader
*For the purpose of safety and wellbeing, “Sham” is a pseudonym for a person being helped by this project.