Eman, Randa, and Shofaha are Syrian mothers living with their families in refugee camps in Jordan. Already struggling to put food on the table due to severe poverty, they are now facing even more difficult circumstances since strict restrictions are being put in place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The entire country is facing lockdown. Those in refugee camps are unable to leave, and shops, restaurants and schools have closed. This is making life extremely difficult for vulnerable Syrian refugee families across Jordan as many have lost their livelihoods, leaving them struggling to provide for their families.
Even before the Covid-19 crisis, many Syrian refugee families struggled to meet even their basic needs, such as accessing education, healthcare and adequate housing.
Islamic Relief continues to serve as a lifeline for families who are now at breaking point.
New fears and challenges
Eman lost her husband during the crisis in Syria, and is now raising 4 children alone, 3 of whom are living with disabilities.
“This pandemic suddenly hit the whole world. We were not ready for this situation. I have 4 orphaned children, and 3 of them have mental disabilities.
“One of the only positive things they’ve witnessed was getting a chance to enrol in a school for children with disabilities. It was the only place where they could experience a touch of normality. However, now the Covid-19 pandemic has prevented my children from being able to attend school”, says Eman.
As the sole breadwinner, Eman struggles to earn enough money to feed her children, and the family has seen very difficult conditions.
“The small amount of money we had was not enough to get enough food to feed my children. We spent days without food as I was not able to go out and leave them alone.
“When feeding your children is a struggle, what could be harder than that? How do you tell a small child you have no food to give him?”, she says.
“We were forced to stay at home as the situation outside was very dangerous, especially for my children. As they have special needs, they do not know how to protect themselves from the virus, so I had to go the extra mile to ensure that they were kept safe amid the pandemic. I also know that if any of us fall ill, it will add to our burden”, says Eman.
Randa also lost her husband amid the crisis in Syria, and has been raising her 2 children alone.
She was working hard to cover the family’s expenses. However, the lockdown imposed across Jordan meant that she lost her job.
“I was working as a house cleaner but I lost my job during the pandemic. People are very scared of this virus, which is understandable. They will not let you go inside their homes as they fear you may be infected, so many of them stopped asking me to clean for them.
“In addition to this, all of the other assistance we used to rely on has been cut off since many aid organisations have suspended their activities for a while”, says Randa.
Shofaha’s family have also been affected by job losses amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“My eldest son was our breadwinner before he lost his job during the lockdown. The money he used to get helped us to pay rent. Yesterday, the landlord threatened to evict us if we didn’t pay our rent”, says Randa.
With poverty a constant threat to families living in refugee camps, Shofaha is terrified of losing her home.
“We could manage with a small amount of food, but what would happen if we found ourselves homeless?”, she says.
To make matters worse, Shofaha is suffering from breast cancer and is struggling to pay for her the healthcare she desperately needs.
What we’re doing to help
Islamic Relief has been supporting vulnerable Syrian families in Jordan amid the Covid-19 crisis by providing them with financial assistance, so they are able to cover the costs of their urgent needs.
We are among the main organisations providing cash to families to cover their basic needs amid the pandemic. We also conducted awareness session for many communities around preventing the spread of the virus.
So far, we have supported almost 4,000 families in Jordan during this challenging time.
Eman, Randa and Shofaha were among those who received financial support to help ease their burden.
“This pandemic is a double burden for us. We felt like we were forgotten. But Alhumdulillah, Islamic Relief’s support came in time. Only God knows that I was in desperate need of this assistance. I bought food and other supplies that my children needed. That day I prayed to God to reward each of you! Jazakullah khairun”, says Eman.
With Islamic Relief’s support, Shofaha has been able to cover the cost of her medication, which is helping to relieve her pain, while Randa was able to buy supplies for her children, as well as essential food items.
Please donate now to allow us to continue our vital work in Jordan and beyond, and to offer a lifeline to those at breaking point.