World Humanitarian Day: A day at work helping Syrian refugees in Jordan

     

    Blog by Wafaa Adnan Albaik, 32, Case Manager, CARE Urban Refugee Centre, Amman, Jordan

    I have been working at one of CARE?s urban refugee centres for about six months, and this is the sort of work I?ve always wanted to do.  I?ve always been interested in humanitarian work, and it?s very rewarding to help people in need.

    In my day to day work,  I meet Syrian refugees, asses them, and decide on the best way to help them ? this could also be emergency cash so they don?t get evicted from where they are living or help to pay for medicine and food.  Sometimes, I also refer people to other organisations who might be able to help. At the end of each day, I call up families and book appointments so that I can follow up with the people that we are helping and see how we can provide further support. 

    Working at the centre is very satisfying; I listen to people and try my best to help them but at times my work can be difficult and upsetting too.

    I remember meeting family who was so poor and living in such difficult conditions, that the mother had to sew together her clothes to cover up her children at night. They had no food or water. Their home suffered from humidity and on rainy days, the water would flood the house. When leaving their house, the lady cried out: ?please don?t forget us, please don?t forget us!? Refugees also tell me about life inside Syria. They talk of being surrounded all the time, no food, no water, hearing the constant bombing, the children living in constant fear, many of them have been attacked at their homes. People had to burry bodies only at night, if they did so in daytime they were at risk of being killed.

    The hardest part of my job is managing expectations. How do I tell someone who comes to us for help that we can?t help or that they need to go to another organisation?  I feel very upset when I can?t help someone. By listening and empathizing with refugees, I hope to be able to provide relief and support.

    We need more funding so we can assist as many people in need as possible. There were days when we had up to 400 refugees coming to the centre in Amman where I work.

    The centres will run for as long as we have funding and the situation for refugees here in Jordan remains the same. We anticipate that this will be a prolonged crises with increasing needs.

    NOTE: To date, CARE has reached about 110,000 refugees from Syria, providing cash assistance to pay for basic living costs, including rent, food and essential relief items. In addition, CARE has reached over 10,000 people among host communities with emergency relief items, including emergency cash, to support their gracious efforts in hosting the growing influx of Syrians desperately seeking safety.

    Last year, CARE set up a refugee center in East Amman where CARE volunteers, who are refugees themselves, assist in organizing and preparing distributions and provide information on access to support services. Since then, about 22,000 families have sought assistance at the center. CARE has opened another center in Zarqa and is planning to open similar hubs in three other cities in Jordan. In addition, CARE Jordan started psychosocial activities and will continue to support communities in Amman, Zarqa, Mafreq and Irbid, targeting more than 10,000 people by October of this year.

    CARE is also working with the UN and other agencies to open a new refugee camp in the coming months which will hopefully help greatly to meet increased needs created by the large influx of refugees into the single existing camp in Jordan. 


     

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