Since 2014, the height of the ISIS rampage across Iraq and Syria, villages have crumbled. Countless communities have been hollowed out, as families fled to escape the violence. These families need support.
“The Hope”, a support, prayer, and English language conversation practice group, was founded at the Olive Tree Center by four remarkable Iraqi women: Riveen, Raneen, Fada, and Karmen. Members of the group range from 16-year- old to 32-years-old. It is a place to encourage, support, listen, and pray during these challenging times. While the Olive Tree Center was physically closed due to COVID-19, members of The Hope still found other safe, social distancing ways to support each other.
Faced with adapting to “a new normal,” which often means severely limited and reduced freedoms, individuals who struggle with fear, anxiety, panic, claustrophobia, and depression have had these conditions surface. Mental health struggles and the need for extra support as the future remains so unknown are vast, and the need for encouragement and positivity is needed more than ever.
The refugees in Jordan that we serve have experienced much hardship and trauma in their lives. However, the most vulnerable members of the community are meeting these new obstacles with resilience, patience, and faith. To survive, they must embrace and rely on the power of prayer. The strength of these young women and others within the refugee communities American FRRME supports is incredible; they rely on their faith now more than ever in these difficult times. Their lives have been further uprooted and made much worse by the spread of Covid-19, yet they remain hopeful, positive, and more committed than ever to their faith.
One example of this is Raneen, one of the founders of The Hope. Originally from Qaraqosh, her family was separated when ISIS invaded in 2014. She fled with her mother and younger sister to Irbil and lived in an IDP camp until they made their way to Jordan as refugees in 2017. She suffered from anxiety following her experiences in the camp. She was separated from her husband and brothers, and has been trying to join her husband in America for years. However, the situation has been very challenging. She asked the prayer group to pray for her immigration to America to be accepted, and recently received news that she’s been approved! She referred to it as a “Mercy Miracle”. Raneen never gave up despite one hardship after another. In the midst of her struggles she continued praying and reaching out to others.
She is just one example of the many refugees that American FRRME supports with your help. American FRRME is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes reconciliation, provides relief efforts, advances human rights and seeks an end to sectarian violence in the Middle East.