Helping Refugees in Jordan
The Mandala Trust is delighted to be working with the volunteer organisation Helping Refugees in Jordan in its inspiring projects to provide high quality, compassionate education for traumatised Syrian and Iraqi refugee children.
A quarter of the Jordanian population is now from Syria, and there are simply not enough school places available for the children. Helping Refugees in Jordan and its grassroots partners have set up two schools – the Hope School, near Amman, which has 75 pupils; and the Al Rahlan School, in Azraq, a ‘scattered’ school for 475 students, based in tents, cabins and a villa near to where refugees are working in poor conditions on farms. From February 2019, the Azraq school will have its own purpose-built facility, `Campus B’ – a new low-cost project designed by EA-HR (Emergency Architects and Human Rights) along traditional lines, using local materials and with minimal impact on the environment.
The teachers in HRJ’s schools, refugees themselves, were trained in Syria or Iraq – as the schools are a charitable project, they are allowed to work here, and their income will be vitally important for both their families and the impoverished local communities in which they live.
The Mandala Trust has been working with the award-winning author Elizabeth Laird, the much loved children and young persons’ author who has written Welcome to Nowhere about an entrepreneurial boy from a loving family living in Palmyra, Syria, who eventually fled to Jordan. The publishers of Welcome to Nowhere, Macmillan, have contributed 50p for each hardback sold, and Liz and her husband have organised or participated in numerous highly successful and enjoyable fundraisers for HRJ. Liz took some of her inspiration from the real life of Maher, now an adult, who works with Helping Refugees in Jordan in a managerial role for the HRJ schools as well as overseeing the delivery of food parcels to refugee families who are struggling with additional burdens such as illness, disability, or trauma affecting their mental health.
Donations made to HRJ through the Mandala Trust will be used primarily to support the Hope School and also two individual households: a woman who has taken in several war orphans, and a family whose main breadwinner sustained life-changing injuries as a result of torture.
- 5 million Syrians have become refugees since civil war began in 2011
- 1 million of these have fled to Jordan, increasing its population by around 8% (equivalent to the UK taking in all 5 million Syrian refugees)
- 20% of Syrian refugees in Jordan live in large camps supported by the UN and aid agencies; the remaining 80% receive little or no food aid and no medical support, and do not have work permits
- Jordan has also received many Iraqi refugees fleeing Isis-controlled areas; they have no access to UN support or medical care
- Many refugees have moved into already improverished communities, adding to the strain on facilities such as education, training and healthcare
- Syrian refugee children can register with a local government school, but places are limited and the schools are underfunded. Iraqi refugee children are not eligible for any state education
If you are inspired to fundraise for HRJ’s work in Jordan helping young refugees, let us know and we can send you information and Gift Aid forms; there is also an online donation facility at MyDonate that you can use.