Jafra Foundation launches its annual Nakbah Day Campaign. May 15th is a reminder of the invasion and occupation of Palestinian Territory beginning in 1948 and continuing to this day. On this day, Palestinians band together in solidarity to affirm their continued Right to Return and raise their voice against illegal occupation which continues to affect the lives of millions of displaced Palestinians throughout the world. So far, the response has been overwhelming and we look forward to uniting as one together on this day.
The Month of Giving
In 2016 Jafra Foundation expanded its support and programs to Greece following refugees from Syria displaced to Europe. The Palestinians arriving to Europe found themselves with more opportunities and a safer environment than those they had endured in Syria, yet still remained in need; building communities, integrating into a new host community and reestablishing themselves to build better futures. A ‘Refugee to Refugee’ response initiated by Jafra’s own staff and volunteers helped new arrivals in the settling in process, they have been supporting ever since. New arrivals found the transition incredibly challenging but have shown great resilience and strength in adapting to their new situation. This Ramadan, Jafra Foundation Greece is crowd funding to help distribute 1800 food baskets to needy households during the holy month. The ‘GoFundMe’ page explains all you need to know about Jafra in Greece and their tireless work. Help us to spread the Ramadan message of giving this year. https://www.gofundme.com/jafrafoundationramadanproject
Yarmouk Civilians in Need
In an interview with al-Quds TV, Jafra Foundation Director, Wesam Sabaaneh, spoke about the worsening humanitarian situation for Palestinians in Yarmouk and South Damascus. Wesam drew attention to the children, women and families in dire need of emergency assistance by way of food, shelter and clean drinking water. There are approximately 3000 families living in ominous conditions, in a desperate situation. Since Yarmouk became an IS stronghold in April 2015, civilians have been living in fear, facing restricted access in and out of Yarmouk and the education system has been severely impacted by an imposed curriculum by IS. The protection of civilians, their safety and ability to meet their most basic needs remains a priority for Jafra Foundation.
Food Security for Sustainable Futures
Chickens may not be a likely feature of programming, but in South Damascus poultry farming became a key component of a Jafra food security and livelihood project. Beneficiaries were given chickens to keep and raise for a source of daily eggs in supporting households to meet their basic food needs. Jafra Foundation additionally gave beneficiaries access to a qualified vet and offered trainings on poultry farming during the project. Speaking about the project, one beneficiary Marwan Ayoub spoke of the significant challenges he faced in suppooftenhis family of ten during the crisis. Using some previous farming experience to his advantage, Marwan partook in the Jafra Foundation Livestock project. Since the project, he has a new found independence and motivation to grow his understanding of agriculture and his family’s sustainable livelihood.
Programming Spotlight: Education
Children face many challenges in continuing in their education in times of conflict and crisis. Displacement, safety and security concerns and the difficulties for families to continue supporting their children in their education are just a few of the challenges. Jafra Foundation has worked closely with children to try and ensure their education does not stop and no generation ‘is lost’. In camps and gatherings, we work with local communities to secure safe and reliable transportation for children to schools and Jafra non-formal education centers. We support teachers in their professional development and create safe spaces for education that lend themselves to a child participation approach to learning. To date, Jafra Foundation has supported more than 28,000 children in continuing their education and helping to secure a better future.
Protection for children in Lebanese schools
Jafra Foundation were delighted to be present at the historic signing of a new policy for Lebanese schools ensuring children are safeguarded from abuse and violence in schools by way of the Policy for Protection of Students in the School Environment. The Ministry of Education in Lebanon officially signed and launched the policy at the UNESCO Palace in Beirut in front of an esteemed audience to mark the occasion. The policy implemented with the support of seUnicefdonors and unicef, marks the commitment of the Ministry to safeguard children and ensure their inclusive, equitable opportunities in a safe learning environment. The policy is built on 4 core policy commitments and demonstrates a way forward in achieving a sustainable education vision for Lebanon.
Jafra Foundation volunteer Massoud is the administrative assistant at the education center in Naji Al Ali. I am very passionate about sports and getting children involved in team sports. Before the crisis I had established a sports center in Homs, where I was able to bring together refugee children to play basketball. My friend and I coached the children and even participated in the young people’s Syrian League Championship. Through the youth’s hard work, determination and our commitment to coaching, we successfully won the championship, giving us all a great sense of pride. When the crisis broke out all our work became impossible; families and children were displaced, people were struggling to support themselves and everyone’s focus was elsewhere. That’s when I started working for Jafra Foundation. Jafra gave me the opportunity to help those in need and give hope and a distraction during the hardest times of the conflict. Taking my knowledge of coaching and working with children I was able to establish the first sports center in the camp and lead our players to participation in the West Asian Championship. Jafra Foundation has become my second home, the people who work here have become my family. I know that the work we do really impacts people and makes a difference and that’s what keeps me going.