CLWR is urgently appealing for funds to support Syrians living in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. Syrian families have been fleeing their country for over two years now, escaping a violent civil war that has now displaced almost six million people from their homes, destroyed and disrupted infrastructure and essential services, and killed 93,000 people.
Realities for Syrian refugees
Asia and Fatimah are from one such family. They are two teenage sisters from a village in Daraa region, southern Syria, who came to Jordan with their father, mother, three younger brothers and grandmother. They escaped through back tracks and indirect routes, telling government soldiers they were simply moving to another village in the region. The family witnessed fighting along the way, saw many destroyed houses, and heard graphic stories of violence and psychological trauma, stories of people “dying of fear.”
They now live in two tents in the Za’atari refugee camp. It is dusty inside the tents, and there is sand in the drinking water they draw from the communal water tanks, which are quite a distance away. There is only one shared kitchen and bathroom per street of up to 80 tents. They have a ration card but the food quantity is limited, and the heat in the camp at this time of the year is unbearable. While the family yearns to return home, they do not see any end in sight to the crisis. “I am so lonely, I cry every day,” says Asia. She adds that her friends from home are spread across the region, as far as Turkey and Lebanon.
How you can help
The intensified fighting is only pushing more Syrians out of their country. With over 130,000 people in Za’atari alone, the flow of refugees puts a major strain on The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), our partner on the ground, and other organizations working in the camp.
Our goal is to raise $100,000. Donations will help provide shoes, summer clothes and hygiene kits to the camp’s most vulnerable refugees, including those who are chronically ill or disabled, pregnant women and mothers with infants. Considering that over half of the people in the camp are under the age of 18, funds will also continue to support education for children, child protection, and mental health and social supports for children and adults.
“The destruction of many schools in the conflict and the subsequent displacement of families disrupt children’s formal education for months. In some areas it has stalled for two years now because of the impact of the intense fighting,” says Nader Duqmaq, coordinator of the LWF emergency program in Jordan.
“The refugees we work with express their hope for an end to the conflict so that they can go back and begin rebuilding their homes and lives. The longer the forced displacement situation lasts, the higher the toll on every individual, especially children and youth,” says Roland Schlott, LWF Department of World Service program officer for Asia.
(Reporting by Heather Patterson, LWF/DWS Program Assistant in Jordan. Find the full story here: http://lwfjerusalem.org/wp/2013/06/lwf-prioritizes-childrens-needs-among-syrian-refugees-at-zaatri-camp/)
Help us reach our goal of $100,000 to support Syrian families:
- By making a designated offering donation at any Lutheran congregation in Canada.
- Online at clwr.org/donate. Click on Emergencies and select “Syrian Refugee Relief.”
- By calling our toll-free number: 1.800.661.2597 or locally at 204.694.5602.
- By sending a cheque made payable to CLWR, 600-177 Lombard Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 0W5. Please indicate that you wish to contribute to “Syrian Refugee Relief.”
- Download a short blurb to raise awareness of the appeal in your church’s bulletins and newsletters.
- Read Fikre Tsehai’s (CLWR’s Program Manager for Refugees) reflections on visiting Za’atari in June 2013: https://clwr.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/a-firsthand-look-at-the-syrian-refugee-crisis/