Urban Catalyst is responding to the ongoing need of Syrian refugee families in Jordan. Helping with relief efforts and sponsoring a child development project for Syrian children.
HISTORY OF THE CRISIS
In March 2011 pro-democracy protests began in Daraa, Syria as part of the Arab Spring. What began as peaceful protests quickly escalated by the government’s violent crackdown. By July, what had began as an armed response to the government crackdown descended into the beginnings of a civil war with the organization of the Free Syrian Army. The war brought instability and led to the rise of the Islamic State in northern Syria, making a bad situation much, much worse. By 2013 Millions of Syrians were being forced to leave their homes fleeing, violence, torture and death at the hands of the government or the Islamic State.
Over the past 7 years this conflict has become one of the greatest humanitarian disasters of our lifetime. Hundreds of thousands have lost their lives, more than 12 million people have been forced from their homes. 5.6 million have been forced to seek refuge in neighboring countries and another 6.5 million are internally displaced within Syria.
OUR INVOLVEMENT IN THE REFUGEE CRISIS
Since 2014 Urban Catalyst, has been working among Syrian refugee families in Jordan providing humanitarian relief to those who have settled outside the UN and government run camps. Today more than 4 out of every 5 Syrians are living in poverty. They have been traumatized by war, the loss of loved ones, homes and belongings. They have little to no access to even the most basic needs, including shelter, food, water, health care and education for their children. Those who have managed to leave Syria are part of the largest refugee population in the world. Most live in overcrowded and ever deteriorating conditions.
ESTABLISHING RESTORING HOPE
As the Syrian refugee crisis continues Urban Catalyst is determined to be a part of the solution. As such, we are increasing our involvement among Syrian refugees in Jordan. We have established a new child development projected called “Restoring Hope,” in order to make a difference in the lives of Syrian children - restoring hope to Syria’s next generation. The children served by Restoring Hope are victims of war, violence, and abuse, some have witnessed first-hand the suffering and death of loved ones. Most, if not all, have been traumatized during the process of fleeing Syria and struggle with issues related to post-traumatic stress, some have continued to suffer abuse since arriving in Jordan. Syrian families in Jordan struggle to survive on a day to day basis making these children at risk of exploitation. Girls as young as 13 are being married off due to poverty, lack of educational opportunities and the prospect of a better life. In 2018, 36% of Syrian refugee marriages in Jordan involved brides under the age of 18 with many being victimized by older men taking advantage of families in dire circumstances.
Without access to a quality education and loving environment where they are cared for, these children are at risk of long-term poverty, hunger, abuse, and exploitation. Children sponsored through Restoring Hope receive care and love in a safe, healthy environment. They are provided with daily meals, clothing, medical and preventative care, and receive a quality education, taking Arabic, English, Math, and Science classes.