New Hadaya ambassador, David Clay, and Jennifer MacDonald were lucky enough to connect with the wonderful Khalid Nabeel Mukhtar in Amman, Jordan. Dr. Khalid is an Iraqi ear, nose and throat doctor and avid member of his church who spends the majority of his time caring for newly arrived refugee families from Iraq. They are Christian families from in and around Mosul who have fled the onslaught of extremists with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. As they are not allowed to legally work in Jordan, things are very difficult for them once they arrive in Amman and many of them need all types of assistance, especially families with special needs or handicapped members. Hadaya was able to offer some gifts to individual families this summer and we hope to do much more this Holiday Season. If you are interested in sponsoring an Iraqi family in Jordan through Hadaya, please e-mail us with the subject: IRAQI REFUGEES.
Family Fun Day
We sponsored a day at an indoor amusement park for 56 children and their families. A majority of these kids suffer from PTSD so it was great to see them smiling and laughing. For many of them, it was their first trip to this type of park and the first time in a long time they had the freedom to just play and be kids. We also gave each child a backpack full of gifts (soccer balls, jump ropes, tops, puppets, books and art supplies). Thanks to everyone whose donations and labor made this happen. They LOVED it!
Family Lunch Outing
We hosted a luncheon at a restaurant in downtown Amman for about 25 kids and their families. David played the clown and made balloon sculptures, much to the children’s delight. They each received one of the toy-filled backpacks as well. It was touching to see how happy this small gesture made the parents, as well as the kiddos.
Gamia Community Center, Amman
We attended a wonderful performance of songs, poetry and theatre by a Palestinian youth group in the old city. The kids were incredibly passionate and creative and wrote many of the theatre pieces themselves. The Palestinian youth are a poor and underserved community in Jordan and often get forgotten, especially due to the current refugee crisis. Thanks to the lovely Hiba Al Shatarat, HADAYA is currently helping to renovate their community center so that they will have a positive, clean and safe place to gather, practice and study. Hiba organizes and leads a group of dedicated volunteers that will be doing things like repairing and tiling the bathrooms and kitchen, painting, installing windows and making cosmetic repairs to make it a happy space. We believe that a functional, uplifting environment has a huge impact on the psychology of a child. We can’t wait to see how this place is reborn! Before and after pics coming soon. We also plan to continue to help renovate gathering spaces, schools and homes for this community as the need arises. If you are interested in helping with this particular effort, e-mail us with the subject: COMMUNITY CENTER.
First Montessori School for Syrian Refugees in Jordan
We were lucky enough to meet Maha Turner at our hotel on the day we arrived in Amman. She told us about her career as a lifelong educator and about her dream of starting the first ever Montessori classroom for Syrian refugees in Jordan and we knew we wanted to help. HADAYA provided some of the materials she needed to open the (yes!) very first Montessori school for the children of Syrian widows now living as refugees in Amman. The school is geared towards children 2-7 years old, many of whom suffer from PTSD and are at a crucial stage in their development. This age group is widely underserved by aid organizations since they are not yet technically school age. Maha’s program fills a huge gap and she is even training some of the widows to be teachers! We hope to continue to support this school and others like it for refugee children in the region. Bravo Maha and team! This is a beautiful effort by a truly wonderful lady we feel blessed to know. The spirit of HADAYA is collaboration - in ways big and small, with other heart-centered people who have decided to take action. If you’d like to be one of them, contact us with the subject: MONTESSORI SCHOOLS.