Strength in a time of trial
Your gifts are providing Syrian and Iraqi families with food, medicine,
clothing, access to education and
psychosocial support. Most importantly,
you’re helping them find the physical and emotional strength they need to cope with the horrors they have suffered, and the hardships of life as a refugee.
Nearly five years after the beginning of the Syrian conflict, we’re facing the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. Nine million people - nearly half the country’s population - have been forced to leave their homes. Many of the people who were forced to flee the fighting in Syria are now living in neighbouring countries like Jordan and Turkey, where they are struggling to survive, unable to work or send their children to school. As more and more people arrive, already overstretched resources are fast running out, and refugees are in desperate need of food and basic household items.
Children urgently need to continue their education, but without enough money for transport, uniforms or books, many don’t get the chance to study. Through the ACT Alliance - the global network of local aid organisations of which Act for Peace is a part - you are providing life-saving help to Syrian refugees, both inside Syria and neighbouring countries, but more funds are urgently needed to meet the scale of the problem.
Our ACT Alliance partners are providing food, shelter and psychological support to people making the long and dangerous journey to find safety in Europe.
Caring for refugees seeking safety in Europe
In the past year over half a million people fleeing the horrors of war in Syria, Iraq and other countries have now braved death by drowning in order to find safetyin Europe. Many people who arrive in Europe are traumatised by long journeys on foot, dangerous sea voyages and the memories of loved ones left behind. Often they have nothing more than the clothes on their back, with no way of keeping warm and dry, or getting their children enough food to eat.
Our ACT Alliance partners in Europe are providing much-needed food, shelter and psychological support to refugees the. Now in the middle of winter, they are giving warm clothes, sleeping bags and blankets to people forced to sleep out in the wind and rain. Families travelling with children often lack the most basic items to look after them, so our partners are distributing these too - small things most people take for granted like nappies, soap, baby formula and detergent.
But refugee children don’t just need nappies or formula. They also need the stability that schooling provides, and the chance to continue their education so essential for a decent future. Often, however, they are unable to attend local schools in the countries they’ve fled to, perhaps due to language barriers or because they are moving from place to place.
Supporters like you have enabled teachers to visit children in refugee camps helping them continue their studies and return to a feeling of routine and normality.This support has also enabled trained psychologists to work with both children and parents as they deal with the trauma they have been through. By talking about their feelings of fear and grief, or the terrible events they have witnessed, refugees are supported to move on to new lives.
In solidarity with persecuted Christians
Thanks to you, and the generosity of local doctors, refugees from Iraq are receiving essential medical care and much needed comfort in Jordan.
It’s a Saturday, and Dr Haytham Aljbour, a paediatrician at the University Hospital in Amman, could be at home relaxing. Instead, he’s busy treating a clinic full of children who are attending a free medical day organised by Act for Peace’s local partner in Jordan. The temporary clinic, hosted in a church on the outskirts of Amman, is crowded with refugees from Iraq - all Christians persecuted for their faith - now seeking safety in Jordan and in need of medical help.
Dr Aljbour tells us he’s seeing ten patients an hour, many with acute or chronic health problems. In total, he and his clinical colleagues will help over 800 people to get the care they need today. Thanks to supporters like you, the free medical days provide refugees with access to essential health care services including paediatrics, optometry and general medicine. Dr Aljbour is proud to be volunteering his time to help. “I see it as a humanitarian action. These people are suffering all the time. They are transferred from place to place, and they don’t have easy access to medical services, so I came to them!” he says. As well as medical treatment, the free medical days give doctors the chance to educate refugees about health and disease prevention, teaching parents how to deal with simpler problems and do first aid in emergencies. Moving from place to place is hard, and worrying about their children’s health only adds to the stress they are under so essential for a decent future. Often, however, they are unable to attend local schools in the countries they’ve fled to, perhaps due to language barriers or because they are moving from place to place.
Supporters like you have enabled teachers to visit children in refugee camps helping them continue their studies and return to a feeling of routine and normality. This support has also enabled trained psychologists to work with both children and parents as they deal with the trauma they have been through. By talking about their feelings of fear and grief, or the terrible events they have witnessed, refugees are supported to move on to new lives. “I think everyone should think for a moment - what if you suddenly lost everything? Your house, your parents, your kids, your financial means?” says Dr Aljbour. “If you can’t feel safe, you are not really living. We are all humans and we must help each other.”
More ways to take action
You can help prevent children like Maala being born with chronic illnesses by helping pregnant women stay healthy and nourished in the first place.
Take the Act for Peace Ration Challenge and eat the same rations as a Syrian refugee during Refugee Week (June 2017). Raise money to support refugees who have lost everything, and challenge perspectives – including your own.
Right now, thousands of innocent people are fleeing Syria every day to protect their families from bloodshed, violence and death. We need your support to provide emergency relief packs to the families fleeing in Syria.