By Dana Shahin, Caritas Jordan
Hanan Yousef Abdel-Razaq lost her home and a four-year old daughter during an attack on Dara’a in Syria in January. She fled to Jordan with her two remaining children, sons aged five and three.
Hanan is one of the over half a million Syrian refugees now living in Jordan because it’s too dangerous to remain in Syria where a bloody civil war is raging into its third year. The refugees come with nothing, and need food, shelter, education and healthcare.
One in eight Syrian refugees in Jordan are women or children.
“I heard about Caritas first from my sister,” said Hanan. “When I came here to register, they asked me about my family and I said I had two children. They immediately offered me services for me and for my children.”
Caritas Jordan has register 130,000 Syrian refugees to receive its aid. They will receive food vouchers, help with accommodation, […]
Read the original in Italian. It’s nearly four years since an earthquake rocked the Italian region of Abruzzo, reducing the historical town of L’Aquila to rubble. And it’s almost a year since another earthquake struck the north-east of Italy. Caritas Italy has been working side by side with the affected communities since both disasters. The Abruzzo earthquake left almost 300 people dead and tens of thousands homeless when it struck in the middle of the night on 6th April 2009 The diocesan Caritas pitched in immediately to provide the people of Aquila with food, clothes and other essentials in the wake of the earthquake. Beyond catering to the material needs, Caritas Italy also brought spiritual comfort to the shattered communities.
It’s two years since a massive earthquake and tsunami hit eastern Japan and killed over 15,800 people. Despite an impressive government operation to clean up and rebuild, the disaster has left a dark shadow over many communities which they are still dealing with today.
“Unfortunately, many people who were affected by the disaster have yet to find peace and hope. Instead, they worry that the harsh reality is that with the passage of time their suffering is being forgotten both in Japan and elsewhere,” says Bishop Tarcisio Kikuchi, president of Caritas Japan.
Some 150,000 people in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures were still not back in their homes by the end of December 2012. Caritas Japan says that this precarious state of living has had a very damaging effect on communities.
A Caritas Japan report for the second anniversary says, “Evacuee life destroys communities. Immediately after the disaster survivors were assigned to evacuation […]
Nawal, 27, was a little confused when people showed up at her thatched hut one day, asking about her baby daughter. “They measured her arm to see how thick it was,” she remembers.
One thing wasn’t confusing: the family was hungry. “At home we don’t have any food,” she says simply. Though her husband earns some money as a daily labourer, there isn’t enough for the four children. “One of our little sons was in school, but he had to drop out. Our situation is bad.”
Nawal’s situation has been bad for almost a decade, ever since the day her home village in Darfur was attacked. Shot in the leg and hiding under a tree, “I thought I would die,” she remembers. Her mother did die that day.
With thousands of others, Nawal escaped to one of Sudan’s camps for displaced people. They were safer there, but could no longer earn a […]
“When I entered my farm, it was so pretty that I was singing.” Abubakar, a 37-year-old father of ten, was happy with the rainy season in Darfur in mid-2012. “I saw I’d have a good harvest.”
Abubakar had put a lot of work into his crops of groundnuts, millet, maize and okra. “At the beginning of the season, I peeled the groundnuts to plant. It’s hard to shell so many. My fingers hurt and were swollen,” he remembers. “I worked on the farm for hours each day. I sweat so much my clothes were soaked.”
Not far away, thousands of livestock herders in Sudan were also working hard to keep their animals healthy and find food for them. “During the rainy season, nomads move from south to north,” says Mohammed Abdelkarem, a programme officer with Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), an implementing partner of Caritas. “On the journey, they pass through farming […]
By Patrick Nicholson
Tahani and Rahaf are both Syrian refugees who volunteer for Caritas Jordan to help their compatriots.
“We had a normal life,” said Rahaf Al Jaber, a 20 year old woman from the Syrian capital Damascus. “We went to university. We had friends. We were even a little spoiled by our parents. And then suddenly we had nothing. We were cold, hungry and alone.”
Rahaf fled with her family to Jordan after her father was threatened. “My father received a phone call saying he should leave or he will be killed. We left the house straight away, without time to pack. We learned that our house was burned down later. We fled along back roads and through fields to avoid checkpoints. We walked across the border.”
They went to Zaatri refugee camp once they were in Jordan. “It’s in a desert. Life is very difficult,” she said. “We slept in tents […]