We met Catherine Ashcroft, director of HRJ & Mobilization Specialist for Mercy Corps International, on our first trip to Jordan in March of 2013. Catherine is English, but has been living in the Middle East with her husband and three children for the better part of the last 10 years. In 2012, she started collecting discarded items from friends and families and bringing them to communities with large refugee populations. Quickly, her two car garage became a massive sorting center, housing donations and items purchased in bulk for distribution. What began as a minor volunteer effort has blossomed into a charity that helps thousands of people. Catherine now works with a network of local Jordanian organizations to address emergency needs and support community projects around Northern Jordan.
Nofa Fayz, South Azraq Women’s Association (SAWA)
Our partner Nofa has been director of the South Azraq Women's Association (SAWA) since the 1990s, when Azraq was a small town of 9,000. Today, she serves a community nearly twice the size, including over 8,000 Syrian refugees – about 2,000 of whom are young children not in school. Around the perimeter of SAWA’s property, Nofa has been able to set up three caravan classrooms that serve 110 children through the help of partner organizations like ours and donors like you. The kids come five days a week and learn Reading, Writing, and Math. We are so impressed with Nofa and her organization and are thrilled to be helping her expand the capacity of her school by building a library on the second floor of her main office.
Zeinab al-Zubaib, White Hands Association
Zeinab runs The White Hands Association, a small charity located in East Badia, an area in Northeast Jordan. Many Syrian bedouins have fled the war to take refuge in this extremely rural, desert area. Zeinab and her organization find isolated groups of refugees and help respond to their emergency needs. These families are living deep in poverty and don’t have access to many basic items. Until recently, there were no schools for over 100 children in a community nearby. Through Zeinab’s organization, we are helping to establish two semi-permanent classrooms that will host classes for these children. Zeinab coordinates with the leaders of each community to establish programs and to address more immediate needs, like winter preparation. In addition to helping build one of the tents we supplied during our recent trip, we were happy to bring over 100 winter prep packages including warm coats, scarves, hats, gloves, and milk packets and to distribute them to the sweet children that we met. This winter, we hope to bring over 2,000 winter prep kits to Syrian children in this region.
We are so grateful to have found dynamic women leading organizations that work every day to make a difference in the lives of those in the most need of assistance. Help us continue to support these valuable programs today!