From the desk of Jamal Hashweh, Regional Field Leader of the Middle East–
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 who turned her away. When I saw her, I asked what we could do. She was taken back 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 our pilot project and is now helping to pay half her families rent.
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.
Join us as we begin true transformation in the lives of Syrian refugees!
Villagers in Dogon Gada have known for some time how important it was to find a way to give their children an education. They even started a school without the proper four walls. Now, the school is being fully operated and star pupils are standing out. Here’s one story for you from the GHNI Nigeria team.
“Quite a lot is going on in Dogon Gada in the area of education, one of the five key elements fundamental to transformation. This month, we present the story of Bitrus, a 13-year old Dukawa boy, a native of Dogon Gada village where he lives with his parents.
“This is what Bitrus has to say about the Dogon Gada Primary School:
‘I am having a good time in this school. This is the first time I am going to school in my life. Our teacher is teaching us well. I came here to get educated so that I can become a medical doctor. I will surely achieve this with the help of God.’”