Monday, November 1, 2010

Short Note from Amman

CRP co-director, Mary Madsen, and I returned to Amman a little over a week ago. We were in the USA for 5 weeks taking care of administrative chores and are happy to be back to our direct work with Iraqi refugees here. Lots and lots has happened since the last time we posted - in fact, CRP is accomplishing so much that we never have the time to post!

We've opened a small Family Resource and Community Center in Amman! In addition to English language courses (three levels!) taught by a team of wonderful volunteers, we also have a lending library, "free store" of good used donated items, Men's Dominoes Night (a men-only social night out), Women's Craft Co-op, and children and teen art classes. All of this in addition to our "usual" full schedule of visiting families and providing them with emergency and other assistance.

Many new families have arrived in Amman in 2010, fleeing from the continuing violence and threats of death in Iraq. They arrive with practically nothing and must wait months before they are determined as eligible or not for the small monthly cash assistance grant from UNHCR. In the meantime, while they must wait, many are in crisis with no way to pay the rent or even put food on the table. We are constantly getting pleas for help with food, rent and basic household necessities - like blankets and sleeping mats.

Our funds are frighteningly low - right now we only have enough cash in our assistance budget to get us through this first week of November. If there is one thing worse than seeing a family in crisis it is not being able to respond with the help they need.

Please consider helping these families. We can't do it without YOU!