Welcoming Refugees

07 February 2020


For 8 years, Fares, Executive Director of DSPR, has delivered the tools, skills, and resources needed to help Syrian families become independent in Jordan. Image credit: Ben Littlejohn
Fares is the Executive Director of Act for Peace’s local partner in Jordan, the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR). We talked to Fares about how your gifts have saved lives and empowered Syrian refugees to support themselves through DSPR’s life-changing work. 

Thanks so much for speaking with us, Fares. Can you please tell us why Syrian refugees are in Jordan? 

The Syrian families we work with fled Syria because of the civil war that started in 2011. With the bombings and shootings, danger was all around. People were forced to leave their homes and their lives behind to seek safety. The journey across the border is very dangerous. Most people either walk, or hide in trucks or cars and move only during the night.

Jordan was one of the first countries to take in Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting. Since the beginning of the crisis, hundreds of thousands of people have fled to Jordan to find refuge. 

There are around 1.4 million Syrians living in Jordan, including over 755,000 registered refugees. They live mainly in urban areas.
The most important thing is that people know you are standing beside them during their darkest hour. 
Can you tell us a little about the biggest needs of Syrian refugees in Jordan today?   

It’s so important to welcome refugees as they have no other place to go. This includes providing people with practical support, as well as meeting their emotional needs. The most important thing is that people know you are standing beside them during their darkest hour. 

Eight years into the crisis, I’ve seen that food is still the biggest need. When people don’t have enough money to buy food, you are there to support them with emergency food parcels. In winter, we help people with blankets and wood stoves, as well as providing school supplies for children.  

How are supporters helping Syrian refugees through this very tough time? 

Many people are also dealing with the trauma of what they’ve gone through and you’re supporting them with psychosocial sessions so people can begin to heal. Mother support groups provide women with a place to talk and share experiences and education workshops for children offer spaces for them to learn and play together. 

Is there a message you’d like to give to supporters here in Australia? 

Absolutely! I’d like to say that, through your support, we have managed to reach around 30,000 Syrian people in urgent need.  We couldn’t have done this without you. 

A Syrian family shares a nourishing meal that was made possible through your support of our local partner in Jordan, DSPR. Image credit: Ben Littlejohn/Act for Peace