Fleeing conflict and hardship, many Palestinian families are trying to build new lives in Jordan – but instead they find themselves living in dire conditions. Thanks to your support, Islamic Relief is helping them to live in comfort and with dignity.
Many Palestinian refugee families are going hungry and are without reliable access to water, healthcare and shelter. Many live in dire conditions in camps, which do not meet their basic needs.
Jerash Camp, also known as Gaza Camp, in northern Jordan, is home to tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees who have been living in limbo since 1976. Housing conditions in this camp are very poor, as most homes were poorly constructed over 40 years ago.
Without the money needed to repair or improve their homes, families live in overcrowded, squalid conditions. Large families live in small, dark and poorly ventilated houses , which causes health problems.
Islamic Relief have been working to improve the living conditions in camps by repairing, maintaining and constructing homes.
Struggling with everyday life
“It is so hard to move forward amidst the bad circumstances that we have been living for years in this camp,” says mother-of-4 Menal, a resident at Jerash camp.
“My husband left me with the children in a tiny house which consists of 1 room, a bathroom and a small kitchen. I have no source of income. There are 2 rooms in the basement but the rooms desperately need to be repaired as they are currently in poor condition.
“The general condition of the house is miserable. Before my husband passed away, the high humidity levels and the lack of ventilation in the house worsened his health condition.
“I feel afraid that I could lose my oldest child for the same reason. She is suffering from asthma and her health condition is critical. She must have clean air and good ventilation.
“My children are doing well at school, alhamdulillah. Education is so important for me – I will do my best to let them continue their studies. One of them is in the final year of high school, so she needs a calm environment to study well.
“But we don’t have extra room to give her the space she needs. On top of this, they are adults now and they need some privacy. However, we couldn’t afford this”, she says.
Forced to live in a tent
Hundreds of Palestinian families live in tents since they can’t afford to build a house or to pay rent.
“We used to live in a rented house but after I lost my job we struggled to pay the rent. My family and I were forced to leave the house to live in a small tent”, says Abu Khalid, another Palestinian refugee living in Jaresh camp.
Abu Khaled used to be the family breadwinner until his health meant he could no longer work. The household now rely on the small amount of money they earn by working as daily labourers on farms during olive harvest months.
“Some good people gave me a small piece of land to build a house, but I have no money to do so”, says Abu Khaled.
“We have been living in this tent for years. You can’t imagine the life inside a tent during winter, the cold is scary. There is mud everywhere. A plastic cover may help stop rain leaking inside but it will never stop you feeling the freezing temperatures. During summer months, the heat inside the tent is unbearable”, he says.
Islamic Relief’s support
Manal’s and Abu Khaled’s family were among 17 families helped by Islamic Relief’s project to improve living conditions in the camp.
“Alhumdulillah, what Islamic Relief has done for me is such a miracle. The team visited my house and assessed the situation. They saw our house is overcrowded, since 5 people sleep in 1 room”, says Menal.
“Months later we were informed that Islamic Relief would help repair the 2 rooms in the basement.
“We felt like finally our dua, our prayers, had been accepted. My children are so happy to have new rooms. It gave them more privacy. My oldest child is extremely happy to have a space to study. This will help her to study and focus well.
“Islamic Relief also repaired our kitchen and other facilities in the house. We really appreciate the amazing work you did for us,” she says.
Abu Khaled’s family were given a house and are now also living in much better living conditions.
“This house means everything for me. Islamic Relief have enhanced our wellbeing. Right now, we feel like any other normal family”, he says.
“The whole difficult situation that we went through has affected my children in different ways. it has affected their health, their academic attainment and their wellbeing, but now we feel safe.
“Alhamdulillah there are no words that can describe what we feel now. I would like to thank you”, he says.
Please donate now to allow us to continue our vital work to support refugees in Jordan and beyond, and to offer a lifeline to those at breaking point.