There are unique talents in everybody, and every so often we get the chance to help foster this talent. Worood, whose name means ‘roses’ in Arabic, is a budding Iraqi artist. As the conflict worsened in Iraq, Worood’s family was forced to flee their home, including Worood’s art studies in Baghdad.
Although safely in Jordan, Worood’s family continues to struggle with providing the most basic provisions in food and shelter and sadly is unable to support Worood’s needs for art supplies and continued study. This is how Worood and her family came to CRP. Her dreams seemed shattered. Luckily one of our supporters, Jacqui Basker of the New York Institute of Technology, met Worood through CRP and was able to help.
For 2 hours every Saturday, CRP transforms into a busy hub of well organized chaos. Children from Syria, Iraq, and Jordan come together for a variety of activities that have them singing, dancing, and smiling – a truly beautiful thing to see. These programs are run by a group of 15 volunteers who come prepared with many things to do, creating different stations for the kids to cycle through and allowing each of the children to get a chance at the different activities.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Advent Lutheran Fund, we have just finished installing six new computers and one large television in our Community and Family Resource Center.
The Advent Lutheran Fund Grant supports training and material needs for our English language and computer programs. With this new technology, we are developing a curriculum for new computer courses and we will be training new teachers over the coming months. The computers are also an excellent resource for us outside of our dedicated class offerings. They allow our community to keep in touch with friends and family around the world and to continue their own education and research.
The new television in our main community room will be hugely beneficial for our group activities. Now we can offer an evening movie, patch in to a live sporting event during Men’s Dominoes Night, or share children’s songs and videos at our popular Children’s Days!
We gave out our final winter distribution today to Syrian, Iraqi and Jordanian families. This latest distribution included 65 blankets, 150 pairs of boots and shoes and 80 clothing packets for children. This distribution caps off our super successful winter distribution campaign during which we distributed winter provisions to just under 1000 families. CRP wants to give special thanks to Catherine Ashcroft, Koviljka Pajcin and Karen Asfour for providing us with these latest items for distribution!
As our CRP community continues to grow, with more and more new families coming in from Syria and Iraq, we have decided to host a number of community dinners so people can get to know others in the community and learn about what CRP has to offer. We hosted our first community dinner on February 12 which was attended by over 30 members of our community from Syria, Iraq and Jordan.
The delicious dinner was Iraqi cuisine, which became a hot topic of conversation all night as many community members had never tried a number of these Iraqi dishes. It was a wonderful evening, full of lively conversation and laughter, and a terrific way to welcome new families into the CRP community. We’re now seeing a lot of the people in attendance at the many classes and activities at our center!
Most Syrians are not comfortable getting their picture taken for security reasons, so only a few of our attendees are shown in the photos. It was a crowded evening, though—especially after dinner, when the children took over the rooms playing tag and running around!
Over the past few weeks CRP has been visited by group of musicians working in collaboration with B Major, a local music organization in Jordan. The musicians have been working with small children and CRP’s teen group.
For the younger children, they conduct a general music class in which the children sing and learn how to play elementary instruments like the recorder and drums.
"The concept is to promote play and expression,” says Garrett Rubin, one of the musicians. “The structured environment at CRP is the ideal setting for children to flourish and express themselves through music."
The teen group has been learning how to play instruments including the violin, guitar, saxophone and trombone. One session ended with the group writing and performing a song. Rubin explains, "They wrote everything–the words, the melody . . . everything. We [the musicians] just harmonized."
Watch a video of the teen group singing the song they composed.
It was really hopping at the CRP center today as we distributed many, many bags of coats, clothes and toys to refugee children aged 1-16. A total of 415 kids benefited from these winter kits, and we will continue to distribute throughout the week. As you can see, there was a ton of activity, smiles on many faces, and lots of new friends made in the hustle and bustle. Special thanks to Helping Refugees in Jordan, Catherine Ashcroft, and super volunteer Koviljka for making this happen!
The CRP Community Center was filled to the brim today with winter coats, clothing and toys we’ll be distributing to refugee children all week. We had a great group of expat and Iraqi and Syrian refugee volunteers come out to sort clothes into bags according to size and gender. They certainly had their work cut out for them as we’ll be distributing to nearly 500 kids this week. A huge thanks to Helping Refugees in Jordan and Catherine Ashcroft for providing us with all this bounty!
We could not be more pleased with the success of our Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for our ongoing food voucher program. Within less than two weeks, we managed to blow past our $4500 goal to eventually raise $7973! A huge thanks to everyone who shared the campaign with their friends and networks. We also want to give a public shout out to all of you who contributed. There is no way this could have happened without your help and enthusiasm for the work we’re doing here in Amman.