Friday, February 27, 2009

Food Assistance for Jemeela, Nuri and their daughter, Hajir - Feb 26 09

Today we set out to deliver food assistance to five families in the distant al Marka area. We call our favorite taxi driver, Khalid who has become a reliable friend in our effort to get the heavy boxes of food to families in need. We load up the trunk of his taxi with food boxes and we put a bag containing crayons, paint sets and coloring books for the children we visit between Maha on the seat.

The first family we deliver food to is small - just Nuri, his wife, Jemeela and their 14 year old daughter, Hajer.

They left Iraq in 1998 after a gang of robbers attacked them in their home in Basra, cold-cocked Nuri and loaded all of the family's belongings into Nuri's car and drove away with it. This was during the sanction times and Nuri was having a hard enough time supporting his family as a taxi driver. They sold their home and used to funds to come to Jordan, hoping for a better life.

Their hopes did not pan out. Nuri has not been able to work, both parents have serious health issues and medications are expensive. They were getting some financial help from a relative that lives in Kuwait but that ended when they recently began to receive a monthly cash grant from UNHCR. The 110JD monthly grant from UNHCR isn't enough for there to be any money left after paying the rent of 60JD and another 25 JD for utilities.

Jameela tells us that Hajer is unhappy. "She wants things like other children have and we cannot buy her anything"