February Update

It is hard to believe but it has almost been one year since we first started fundraising to help Syrian refugees living in Jordan.  Since then (and you may want to sit down for this) we have collectively raised $27,998(!!!).  Donations continue to come in to our Mercy Corps page (a special thanks to the recent incredible support from Catherine, Jerry, and their friends) and it feels so good to have helped seriously improve the circumstances for so many individuals and families.  Sadly, the situation in Syria has only deteriorated and the need for aid continues grow but we should all be really proud of the impact that we have made.  Your donations are making a real difference! 

Here is a recap of some of the incredible work that Mercy Corps and Helping Refugees in Jordan (HRJ) has been doing over the last couple of months supported by your donations:  

– Volunteers distributed over 3,500 children’s packages which included a warm winter jacket, winter clothing, hat, gloves, scarves, socks, toys, coloring items, hygiene items, etc.  We were also able to supply thick winter blankets to another 500 children. We also bought 200 gas cooking stoves and 200 heaters in December alone!

– Mercy Corps ran a winterization program for 3,600 families and many of our children’s winter packages complemented those as the MC ones did not include clothing.  Added to the 3,600 families packages were 20,000 toothbrushes and 3,600 packets of detergent funded from the HRJ donations.

– The group has held training workshops for volunteers to help at Children’s Activity Days and they continue to host these programs in Zarqa and Mafraq (Northern Jordan) for groups of Syrian children on a regular basis.

– Thousands of books have been purchased for informal schools, a playground was built in the town of Azraq, and we continue to purchase wheelchairs and hearing aids for people with disabilities.

– Over 400 Syrian children have been identified as out of school and been placed in formal schools through HRJ. This is an ongoing effort and MC expects an additional hundred to be added this month.

– 11 marathons in 11 days, a fundraiser planned by HRJ, is taking place in March. The distance run in the marathons will reach the full length of Jordan. All funds raised will go towards education-specific purchases.

– Mercy Corps launched the “We Care About Syria” campaign in response to many refugees feeling forgotten and rejected by the world. It is a way for people, especially children, to send message of support. Photos with their messages are being given to children during children’s activity days and family visits to remind them the world cares about Syria. If you’d like to participate, check out their page at: https://www.facebook.com/WeCareAboutSyria

– Several local Syrian and Jordanian volunteers of HRJ have, after training with Catherine (the director), received internships and jobs.

– Income-generation projects have included buying tools for carpenters, starting businesses to sell SIM cards, setting up 6 families to raise chickens for eggs to eat and sell, providing bikes for long distance commuting for work, arranging transport to the British Council for free English lessons, and starting women’s cooking projects. 

– Mercy Corps supports IOM (http://www.jordan.iom.int/) shelters for trafficked women.

These are just a few highlights and the more support we receive, the more we can do!  

As always, thank you for your support; we couldn’t have done it without you!  We continue to accept donations here: (http://www.mercycorps.org/people/catherine-ashcroft/refugees-jordan).  If you are interested in continuing your support, please mention Lexi’s name (Lexi Shereshewsky) in the comments so we can thank you personally!