Relief for Palestinian Refugees in Jordan

January 14, 2012 ANERA
Humanitarian Relief, In-Kind Medical and Relief, Jordan
A young refugee toddles in Jordan sits on his new, donated blanket and smiles at the camera. Young Mohammad enjoys his new blanket.

At 34, Samar Muhmmad Al-Balawneh is the sole breadwinner for her family of nine. Her husband suffers from psychological problems and cannot work. They live in a small rented house in Al-Hussein refugee camp. It is not expensive but Samar struggles to pay the rent.

Thanks to a generous donation from Lutheran World Relief, Samar now has nine quilts, one for each member of the family, plus a newborn kit for her little boy Mohammad, who is just seven months old.

“I really liked the quilts, especially that every one of my children now has their own quilt, which I could not provide for them because of our financial situation,” says Samar. “The newborn kit was excellent quality for my little son Mohammad. The timing was perfect too. Without it, I was going to have to ask my neighbors if I could borrow their children’s over-used hand-me-downs.”

50,000 quilts, 2,250 sewing kits, 16,635 school kits and 5,400 baby-care kits were distributed to Palestinian refugees in Jordan.

When Samar’s nephew was born, she passed along many of the clothing items from the newborn kit to her sister for the new baby. The family will continue to pass along the newborn items to help other family members with children.

In all, ANERA distributed more than 5,000 hand-made quilts, 2,250 sewing kits, 16,625 school kits and 5,400 layettes/baby kits in UNRWA refugee camps in South and North Amman, Zarqa and Irbid. This was the first Lutheran World Relief shipment handled by ANERA.

A young refugee boy in Jordan holds open a book, part of donated school materials.

Yazan takes special care of his new school kit.

Life is not easy for 31-year-old Najah Khader Mohammad Abu-Emarah and her husband Mukhles. She suffers from Thalassemia, a blood disorder common in the Middle East. Mukhles and one of their three daughters have a severe disability in their legs. The family functions on meager financial support from the Jordanian Ministry of Social Development.

Najah and her family were thrilled to receive five quilts for each of them, especially the colorful quilts that delighted her young daughters. “It may be a simple gift,” said Najah,“but it made my daughters very happy. The quilts are very comfortable. Each of my daughters has her own quilt.” The family expressed their sincere gratitude and hoped for warm clothes for the winter.

So’ad Sa’ed Hussein Lahloub, a 40-year-old widow with six children, received seven quilts for her family and school kits for her sons Yazan and Mohyee. So’ad was thrilled. “I’m so grateful to know that someone is concerned about our situation. My children were especially pleased with the stationery. I really wish we could also receive clothing and heavy blankets for winter”

So’ad’s son Yazan said, “Receiving these nice gifts made me excited to go to school. I use the crayons every day and take care of them so they don’t get broken or damaged.”

Najwa Fo’ad Mohammad Addamisi, at 45, is the sole breadwinner for a family of six because her husband suffers from a disease that keeps him confined to the house. The quilts, distributed by ANERA, are a welcome comfort. Najwa’s daughter Samar loves the bright colors. “And I’m so happy that I don’t have to share it with any of my sisters because now they have their own.”

UNWRA social workers Ala’ Ghassan Abedlhameed and Taghreed Mahmoud Abedljaber supervised part of ANERA’s distribution. “It may be surprising, but we noticed that what gave family members the most joy was that each member of the family now had his or her own quilt. Before this, families had to share their blankets because there were not enough for each member in the family,” said Ala’. “And, many children treated their new school kits very carefully as though they were a gift from a very dear person.”

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