August Newsletter

Fire Emergency Response in Greece

Showing just how giving our own volunteers are despite being refugees and the hardships they have faced themselves, Jafra Foundation volunteers in Greece have sprung into action to provide relief and support to wildfire victims in Attica. The wildfires are reportedly the second deadliest ever recorded in history, with more than 90 people dead and 190 hospitalized. Jafra Foundation in Greece have been carrying out much of the physical work needed to cleanup and begin rehabilitating homes. Additionally, they have launched a GlobalGiving project to raise $35,000 to support those most affected and most in need.

You can donate directly to their project and help families in need who have lost everything through this link:

Jafra and GlobalGiving: Rebuilding Palestinian Livelihoods in Yarmouk Update

In June, Jafra Foundation and GlobalGiving launched their first project “Rebuilding Palestinian Livelihoods in Yarmouk”. The project focuses on helping to rehabilitate and provide the most basic needs and provisions for families displaced during the recent crisis and those hoping to find a way back to Yarmouk. Jafra are pleased to announce we have raised almost $6000 from 50 individual donors, providing the means to begin rehabilitation. But there is still a long way to go. Jafra Foundation have been working hard to continually advocate for the return to Yarmouk, including the necessary steps and suggestions about how Jafra can participate in the recovery and rehabilitation through our programmatic sectors. If you would like to donate to our campaign you can do so through this link:

Effective Education Projects in Jaramana

In Jaramana Syria, children continue to enthusiastically participate in Jafra Foundation education projects. The teachers, who are both staff and volunteers are trained and professionally developed to deliver effective educational experiences to children who have been through so much during the conflict. Creating safe spaces for children to learn, socialize and express themselves remains a priority for Jafra Foundation in all our areas of operation and project implementation. Children who attend the Jafra Centers learn through collaboration and engagement. In Jaramana 658 children are currently benefiting from education and psychosocial support activities.

International Youth Day, August 12th 2018

Each year, Youth Day (a day designated by the United Nations) aims to raise awareness for cultural and legal issues surrounding youth worldwide. This year Jafra Foundation, an organization founded on youth relief and development celebrates the diversity of its own staff and volunteers. Our staff and volunteers join Jafra Foundation from diverse and multicultural backgrounds including Syrians, Palestinians, Jordanians, Belgians, Lebanese, Australians and Yemenis. Our diversity gives us strength and provides us with opportunities to work collaboratively and overcome cultural differences to find common ground to help build better futures for vulnerable youth and refugee populations. This multicultural feature of our organization is a testament to our own work spanning Syria, Greece, Sweden and now Lebanon across 10 programming sectors.

Supporting New Plumbing Graduates in South Damascus

In South Damascus, a vocational training in the industry of plumbing provided the opportunity for 12 beneficiaries to enhance their skills and knowledge through a hands-on, practical course as well as enrollment in informal education classes in English and Arabic languages. The 3-month course culminated in a Business Management and Finance training where participants were given the chance to understand business theory and methodologies so they could start their own plumbing business and begin to work towards a stable and sustainable income for their households. Additionally, Jafra Foundation was able to provide all training graduates with plumbing kits containing all materials needed for their start-up businesses. Livelihoods training and projects have become key to rebuilding communities and empowering men and women post-conflict.

The Long Road to Return

This month, Jafra Foundation Director Wesam Sabaaneh shared his insights on the situation inside Yarmouk Camp. Speaking to Tom Rollins from Syria:direct, Wesam highlighted that since suffering considerable damage to the camp and a devastating loss of life, the area is still considered a military zone and now displaced former residents wishing to return to check on their properties were not able to do so freely. Requiring security permission, many families are still in the dark about the state of their homes and the extensive damage the camp has suffered on the whole. Jafra Foundation has been strongly advocating for ‘Return to Yarmouk’ since June, offering suggestions and steps for a safe return as well as providing its own capacities to respond where required across several of our programming sectors. You can read the full article here:


Volunteer Profile

This month, Jafra Foundation features Reem Zakzuk from Sweden. Reem has been working with Jafra Foundation Sweden, helping coordinate a women’s empowerment project for the last six months.

“I have a passion for uniting people. Growing up in the Gulf, my life was largely stable and I had good family life and friendship network. However, due to the restrictions placed on me as a Palestinian, I have struggled to find stability in general, due to being considered “stateless”. Many of the recent sanctions placed on Syrians and Palestinians in the United Arab Emirates have resulted in families contemplating their futures in the gulf, and my experience was no different. My own views on the Arab Spring and political reform were misaligned with where I was living. I took the opportunity to travel after being granted a Swedish visa. For the last 6 years I have been living in Sweden, but again my nationality prevents me from obtaining citizenship. I joined Jafra Foundation as a way to make a positive difference for immigrants. My continual international exposure has allowed me to develop a deep understanding and awareness for the importance of cultural sustainability and unifying understandings between people and all of humanity. My work at Jafra is important and makes a difference. I am currently studying cognitive behavioural therapy as a means to broaden my own expertise and influence in helping others in the future.”