Tzu Chi’s humanitarian action to the Syrian refugees in Jordan
Syrian civil war has been waging for over 5 years, with millions of people displaced abroad, and around 5.9 million refugees had to raise their next generation in foreign and unfamiliar land. Master Cheng Yen, the founder of Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, was saddened by the man-made calamities, and urged Tzu Chi members to reach out and help regardless of religion, race and factions.
On the late night of 23 December 2016, 35 Tzu Chi members of doctors, nurses and volunteers from Taiwan, USA and Jordan embarked on a 10-day journey to Jordan, joined by the local volunteers and some international students, to operate five free clinics and hold four distributions for the refugees in Mafraq Province of Jordan.
The distributions were for the refugees living outside the Zaatari refugee camp and in the Azraq refugee camp, benefiting 3,238 families. Each family received 5 kilograms of rice, 5 kilograms of sugar, 3 kilograms of split peas, one box of tea, and 2 liters of cooking oil. While the materials were not abundant, the unconditional love of Tzu Chi volunteers touched every family, giving them hope and warmth in the New Year.
The volunteers also gave winter jackets to 1,500 children and passed forward their love and best wishes with hugs. 1,882 sets of school supplies and schoolbags were also given out to school-aged refugee children.
Besides the distributions, 5 free clinics were held in the refugee camp and Jordan Valley. With the help of international students to translate Arabic to English, 1,037 refugees and the poor Bedouins benefitted from the events.
Although it is difficult for the Tzu Chi team to communicate with these refugees, love had crossed the boundary of language, religion and race.