Today was a great day. Our team first met up with Sr. Olivia Perez from the Islamic Relief office, then traveled again to Irbid where we continued distribution from yesterday of Hygiene Kits. In addition, we took the toothbrushes, toothpaste, crayons and sketch pads and coordinated distribution of these as well. The highlight were the soccer balls – 15 of them were distributed here. You should have seen the curiosity and smiles of the young ones as they watched us setting up and sorting through the items. The smiles of the children receiving the soccer balls was priceless, given the suffering and misery they have endured.
These youngsters have indeed seen much horror. Hamza Khan conducted art therapy with the children, asking them to draw “something about their life in Syria”. One young man drew in stark detail 2 missiles hitting his home and tanks with stick men indicating dead people. This boy could not have been more than 10 years old and had such a solemn look on his face as he drew. I didn’t see him smiling very much. We took a video of him explaining what he had drawn.
After the morning distribution was completed, we traveled to a small town of Ramtha, just 2 km from the Syrian border. Here was a small town where a Islamic Relief social worker took us to visit two families staying in rented flats in the town. The first lady had five children and her husband is off fighting with the FSA. They lived in a simple large room with a sink and small hot plate to cook their meals. We brought a gift bag for the family consisting of a soccer ball (a big hit with the kids!), sketch pads, pencil crayons and some clothing. The second family had twelve family members living in a small one bedroom apartment. They were just scraping by to make ends meet, with assistance of the WFP food vouchers. When asked what was their greatest need, they stated that sweaters and warm coats were required as the winters in northern Jordan and Syria are very cold with no heating in the shelters.
Tomorrow we continue distribution at Ramtha. Photographs of today’s distribution follow.