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01 August 2018

Topics: emergency "Link 2018" refugees Syria

Your messages of hope brought comfort to Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Martina is an Australian mum of one. Her son Liam has just turned 12. They live a healthy, happy life in Melbourne, surrounded by a loving family, good friends and supportive colleagues.
Assala is also a mother of one. Assala, her husband and their son live in a tent in Jordan. They are refugees from Syria, and have endured the worsening conditions of the camps for the past six years, since bombing and violence forced them from their home.
Most days, Martina looked at the news and despaired. Syria was in the throes of a war, and the world was witnessing a refugee crisis that seemed so far away, so tragic and so hard to solve.
I could see a time in the near future when the empathy bar would be so low it would become ‘normal’ to not feel anything [when hearing stories about the suffering of refugees],” said Martina. “I felt angry, ashamed, sick to my stomach, frustrated and helpless.”

Then Martina came across the Act for Peace Ration Challenge, which is inspiring a growing community of Australians to come together and stand up for refugees. This was what she’d been looking for, this was her opportunity to do something meaningful to help.
By eating the exact same rations that a Syrian refugee living in a camp in Jordan receives during Refugee Week in June – just a small amount of rice, flour, lentils, chickpeas, beans, fish and oil – and getting sponsored to do it, Martina raised money and awareness for people who have left their families, their homes and their lives behind in search of safety. She joined over 12, 000 other passionate people taking the Ration Challenge.
Assala has now escaped the terrifying violence in Syria but life in a refugee camp is tough. It is still a daily struggle to get by. That’s why the ongoing support of our community here in Australia is so important.

Credit: Mitchel Loveday/Act for Peace.
 “I feel so happy that there are good people who help me, because this relieves some of the burden as they help me with things I can’t buy,” Assala said.
As well as providing urgently needed financial support, many of you also sent personal messages to families in Jordan, including Martina and Liam, who emailed their heartfelt message of solidarity.
I wrote the message because I wanted people to realise that my family had not forgotten about them,” said Martina.
When Act for Peace staff visited the refugee camps in Jordan recently, and delivered Martina’s message in person to Assala, she was moved to tears.
“I feel emotionally comforted and supported. I want to thank them for all they are doing to help and support us,” Assala said.
For the Syrian men, women and children who’ve lost everything, your generous gifts mean more than just having enough food to eat. For them, your support is a message of hope, showing them that there are people on the other side of the world who still care about them.
Thank you for everything you are doing to support our Syrian brothers and sisters during their time of need.

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