Syria + 2 more

Overcoming hurdles to help refugees on the border of Jordan, Syria, and Iraq

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In mid-February, Tzu Chi volunteers in Jordan learned that UNHCR is concerned that refugees on the border desperately need food and other aid supplies. Therefore, Tzu Chi volunteers prepared water, food and blankets for 1,500 people. Departing at 3 A.M. from Amman of Jordan, they traveled through desert for 350 kilometers, and reach refugees at the border of Iraq and Syria. “International aid organizations only provide one meal per day, just lunch. Refugees do not get breakfast or dinner. In addition, they do not receive any tent.” Tzu Chi volunteer Chiou-Hwa Chen said.

Upon the arrival, the Jordanian soldiers, who were not informed about this mission, asked the volunteers to leave their supplies. The volunteers had shared about Tzu Chi international relief principles which to distribute goods directly to the needy people. Seeing the volunteers' persistence and efforts, the soldiers were persuaded to go with them. The volunteers from Jordan's Hashemite Charity Organization, who came along to assist coordination for the distribution, also joined the relief action. “It feels great to help the refugees directly when we see smile on their face”, one volunteer from Hashemite Charity Organization said.

Tzu Chi volunteer Abeer Madanat shared that with faith and compassion, the distribution went on very organized and friendly. Every refugee has received two bottles of water, one blanket, and two packs of cookies and cheese. These handful supplies was rarely seen in their recent hard life. The tangible resource might be limited, but great love is not. Some day the desert may become oasis with great love.

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