Our partners at The White Hands Association (WHA), a small charity located in Badia Shmaliya, an area in Northeast Jordan, serve thousands of Syrian families who have fled the war and taken refuge in this extremely rural, desert area.
WHA finds isolated groups of refugees and helps 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 500 children in communities nearby. Through WHA, The Syria Fund has helped establish a variety of classrooms - tents, caravans and a proper building - to host classes for many of these children. WHA additionally coordinates with the leaders of each community to establish programs and address more immediate needs, like winter preparation.
In extremely, hard-to-reach desert areas, families have set up tented communities using whatever resources they have. While the families farm the local land, children remain left behind, too far away to have any access to proper schools. To solve this massive issue, we've set up large tents sit on top of concrete floors, furnished with carpets, desks, heaters, and solar lights. Qualified Syrian teachers travel to this community to teach the children, who previously had no access to education.
Some tented schools have now been replaced with portable, caravan classrooms. These spaces benefit others in the community by offering vocational training and other programs for people of all ages.
The Syria Fund helped WHA purchase and renovate a new building with the capacity to host nearly 300 students. In just the first year, WHA has enrolled over 115 new students! The Syria Fund supports the salaries of six full-time teachers and a full-time school manager. We continue to support this facility with extracurricular programs, most recently by helping fund the construction of a new IT center and adding weekly music classes through Songs for Syrians.