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Classes for Christian Iraqi refugees in Jordan – a success

Classes for Christian Iraqi refugees in Jordan – a success


JORDAN– Our Lady of Peace Center, in coordination with Caritas, has welcomed many Christians who fled from Iraq because of Daesh assaults. The Latin Patriarchate launched an appeal to help them  for their basic needs, and also to enable them to face and rebuild their future without fear. A socio-educational program has been implemented, sponsored by the Portuguese Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher, offering them classes in English, computer and physical education.

More than 200 Christian families were forced to flee the town of Mosul in Iraq and surroundings, and having seen their homes and properties confiscated by the militants of the Islamic State.  They could not even take with them basic necessities or food as they hastily escaped.   Jordan hosted nearly 1,000 Christians. They were welcomed in parishes, schools and institutions of the Latin Patriarchate, with the support of Caritas Jordan.

These Christians arrived with nothing, stripped of everything except the clothes they had on their backs. Today they need a roof over their heads, help to meet their daily needs with dignity, and to reshape their future.  They were initially provided with rooms at the Emergency Centre  of Our Lady of Peace Center.  Now they housed in mobile homes around the center, with the bare minimum,and waiting  for opportunities for a better life.

Father Imad Twal, the Latin Patriarchate’s General Administrator visited them, and expressed support and prayers, while reaffirming the desire of the Latin Patriarchate to secure for them the necessary relief and aid.

These Christian families must first cope with essential needs (water, food, medicine, clothing), knowing that hosting them at Our Lady of Peace Center constitutes a real daily challenge, at least from a sanitation point of view. The issue of documentation is also a concern.  As refugees, they have for the moment a visa allowing them to stay in Jordan from three to six months.  These families need to be able to resume normal lives and rebuild their future. Today, the urgency also includes offering them psychological support after their traumatic experience. Children especially need to feel safe again. They all aspire to lead a normal life, to return to school or work, to learn and to have social activities.

The Latin Patriarchate Project Development Office and Our Lady of Peace Center launched an appeal to provide for these families, socio-educational assistance by offering them courses in English, computer and physical education. The Portuguese Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher responded favorably and generously call so that the  project can be implemented without delay. These classes are now having a great success and has enabled the refugees  to regain their confidence. Attached are some pictures of the daily classes.  The families can now make use of their time in a more constructive manner during their stay at the Center, as they anticipate to reshape their future elsewhere.

Today these families still need prayers and support.  Soon other projects will be launched to help these people rebuild their lives with dignity.  Every help and support is welcome.

Myriam Ambroselli