Seeking Hope and Healing for Heart and Country

From the desk of Jamal Hashweh, Regional Field Leader of the Middle East--

Refugee Families in Jordan

Marking progress with the Syrian crisis is like counting water droplets in a thunderstorm. The work is never ending and the problems remain. Winter was a time of giving out heaters, jackets, and blankets. We are trying to help stabilize the lives of the families, as they will be here for a long time.

Tira* came to us without invitation. She heard through her friends we were distributing goods and she came without hope we would help. She had been to other organizations that turned her away. When I saw her, I asked what we could do. She was taken aback with surprise and asked if she could have a heater for her family. I told her at this time I didn’t have one, but if she came back on Wednesday I would have one for her.

Arriving on Wednesday, I saw she was the first one there. Standing with her were her friends, all had received things from GHNI. She told us she had never felt so respected and cared for.

We also gave jackets, blankets, vitamins, heaters, and toys for the children. We had over 100 recipients that day. We worked hard keeping our Syrian guests warm and healthy during this cold winter. During a time of conflict, it is easily seen no matter your background, in a time of need, we all pull together. We have realized sometimes finding hope is the only thing people were seeking. Afterwards, many Syrians could feel they were respected and are still thanking us several weeks later.

Our plan of assisting the Syrians continues. We are beginning to have Transformational Community Development (TCD) training with the Syrian refugee families. This will involve parts of Vocational Training Program (VTP) as well.

We have already begun training with 12 families and we are planning more. We will be emphasizing they will be the ones who will come together to build their country back. We are also looking at skills these families have so we can implement VTP projects to help them become self-sufficient.

Having nothing but the items they brought with them from the Zaatari camp, one family of seven is now living in Madaba, 110km (almost 70 miles) south of Zaatari, because they could not find work. We have created a VTP program for women who would like to provide for their families. Yalda is now helping to pay half her family’s rent through her hard work in the VTP program.

We are continuing to give out items shipped to us through two other partner organizations. These items are used to create a bridge of hope to these families. As winter ends and the problem in Syria is yet to be resolved, we are encouraging our Syrian guests they are not alone and we are still with them.

*For purposes of security and well-being, "Tira" is a pseudonym of the person being helped by this project.