I just got back from Jordan and working with the Syrian Refugees, and I reflect on this trip and feel the pain of all these people, a people that were so proud and strong, now being downgraded and feeling useless, and not being able to provide for their families – not being able to give them a comfortable place to live, adequent food and clothing and even love and laughter. The men in the families, and even the women, are taking this out on each other, and on the children who are the most vulernable.
I think of our own militray personnel and what we hear happens to them as they return to be with their families. It is not the same since they have a comfortable place to live, but the stress of war , of killing, it is the same results of what you do or how you treat the people you love.
People need to know that the tremendous amount of the refugee population is women and children. The percentage of children under the age of 5 years is about 20 percent of the refugees. I don’t think anyone really has a figure of how many have feld Syria and how many are still in Syria, because not all refugees get registered.
I met a number of people that I knew from Syria who are now in Jordan – I had no idea that they had fled. But these people are well off so they have been able to rent apartments and live somewhat normal lives, but they still do not have jobs, they have nothing in so many ways, but they are volunteering to help their own countrymen and women. We have so many doctors that have no jobs since they need to get a Jordanian license to work in medicine , the same as the US. The team of doctors that I went with from SAMS is trying to change that, and have them work in the clinics and also in the cities outside of Amman.
It was by chance that my partner in the Jordan office, accountant, knew of a family in Madaba , from Syria and there were 10 people living in one room, this is how we hear about families and the help that they need.
I realized that even with all the big organizations out there, there is a huge need for organizations like ours that are on the ground. The people can get lost in the bureaucracy of the larger organizations, and we can fill those gaps. The clothing that all of you so generously donated and the money topurchase items in the country was really incredible. I want to thank you all for your generous donations, but please do not think that giving once or twice or even three times is enough – we need more help. Even if you can give $10 per month that will help purchase food for a family or diapers for babies, etc. This is an ongoing crisis and it will not be ending anytime soon.
I need your help in getting wheelchairs, canes, other medial equipment. If you know of anyone that is in the profession and you can talk to them about getting anything like this please do so. I talked to the head of Jordan charities for the Syrians and he said he would let anything we get into the country duty free. He will get it cleared himself. Remember we have so much waste in this country and there is so much of a need for it there.
I now want to start to concentrating on the medical goods that are needed. The male diapers that I purchased there were so helpful to the men at the spinal injury clinic. This is a private clinic that was set up by one of the doctors that was on the trip. He is now wanting to open one up for women and children. These are not fancy clinics- they are apartments that have been converted and the living room becomes a ward for about 7 or 8 patients- they do not have hospital beds but just regular beds to sleep in. The patients are in these beds all day long, since we do not have equipment for their therapy- so do you have an old treadmill that is sitting in the corner collecting dust, or maybe being used as a coat hanger, we could use this – give us a call. Do you have old jump ropes, maybe a stretch machine or even the plastic stretch stuff you get from a doctor to stretch your muscles. We here in America have so much and we have closets full of things and garages so full , but these people have nothing. We work on getting them a place to live or they live in a camp, put they do not have any furniture, not even a pillow, or even games for the children to play.
We also need to get them things like videos of people with disabilities that have overcome the disability and keep on going- those of the men and women who have lost limbs, but they fight and now are are able to climb a mountain or swim or even do cross country walks. They need to realize that there is still life after a disability.
Thank you all again for your generous donations and your help and messages of support.