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Updates From Helena Scott at The Olive Tree Center

September 3, 2020

Updates From Helena Scott at The Olive Tree Center

Summer 2020

Online support & learning/development platforms 

American FRRME continues to provide resume assistance, revision, and immigration assistance to refugees via email and phone.

Garden Project 

This “garden of hope” was created at the Olive Tree Center by refugees, for refugees. Throughout June this Garden was maintained, further cultivated, and really prospered: cucumbers, corn, beans, watermelon, cantaloupe, and tomatoes are now abundant. This garden provides the community with a sense of purpose, exercise, and a sense of contributing to the community.  Azad, the leader of the initiative, has really grown in his role as head gardener. He installed wire fencing to protect the garden from animals eating the vegetables.

 

Mask Making Project & Creation of “Olive Oil” Fund 

 

https://youtu.be/EDWvoCVtIXM

 

Iraqi refugee Leka started this mask-making initiative. This project has produced over 500 masks for the refugee community in efforts to prevent COVID-19.  Masks are mandatory for all to attend church services and anything public which is why this project is a very significant help to the community.  American FRRME has provided material to Leka to produce extra masks to be provided to the Amman diplomat community which has a big need for masks. This enables diplomats to support the refugee community with a donation.

Olive Tree Center as a relief center during COVID-19

The Olive Tree Center (OTC) continues to serve as a safe and compliant base for relief operations. While its doors were closed as a Center, the OTC never stopped serving the refugee community. With strict adherence to social distancing and mask and gloves and in full compliance with the government rules and regulations, food coupon and package distributions, family support, mask making and gardening have flourished at the Center. Limiting the actual body count and maintaining proper safety measures has enabled us to still get essential support to the refugees in Madaba and to make use of the center while providing services.

Churches were legally allowed to open on Sunday, June 7th, with strict adherence to government rules. The masks American FRRME provides are vital to enabling refugees to get to church.

American FRRME COVID RELIEF STRATEGY UPDATE 

American FRRME successfully implemented the COVID relief plan despite the many government restrictions of movement, lockdowns, and curfew implementation.  Borders between towns reopened and internal travel with cars is now allowed. Helena Scott is able to travel directly to all American FRRME partnerships and refugee communities. Wellness Checks were performed by American FRRME to the most at-risk refugees throughout all the communities American FRRME supports, as soon as travel was allowed and restrictions lifted. American FRRME has remained fully compliant with government rules and regulations, wearing a mask and gloves whenever directly distributing relief.

 Partnership Updates 

 Nazarene Church – Pastor Zaki 

American FRRME continues throughout COVID to provide food packages and supplies to the refugees who attend the Nazarene Church, along with much-needed food packages and hygiene kits to some Syrian refugees in Mafraq.

Syrian Orthodox Church – Father Benjamin 

Relief efforts continued in June to reach the 583 families American FRRME supports via the Syrian Orthodox Church. Father Benjamin has not been able to be mobile due to recent surgery, so Helena Scott has been conducting home visits directly to families most in need.

 Assemblies of God Church In Madaba – Pastor Yoo

FRRME-A/FRRME support of the refugee community in Madaba and the 120 families who attend the Full Gospel Church was unwavering, food coupons provided as well as OTC offerings.

Greek Catholic Church In Fuheis – Father Bolis 

American FRRME continues to support the refugee families in Fuheis via the Greek Catholic Church. Now that the border is open and travel is allowed, providing relief and support has been much easier.

Proposed Initiatives 

Expansion of “garden of hope” to Full Gospel Church. The Garden of Hope initiative at the OTC has really taken off.   It has provided much-needed hope and growth, and will eventually provide food for the refugee community in Madaba. The Full Gospel Church has excess land where we could facilitate the expansion of these efforts. If American FRRME can fund the garden project at the Full Gospel Church we can expand the gardening efforts.

As American FRRME continues to make the shift from providing relief to creating more sustainable solutions, this gardening initiative perfectly reflects that shift–providing hope, help, and healing through gardening.

As soon as the OTC officially opens we can live stream traditional Iraqi cooking classes by refugees, to obtain donations from donors, host cooking classes, and give the diplomat and ex-pat community a “taste of Iraq” through delicious cooking.

Proposed “Open House” at OTC to launch reopening post-Corona 

To be safely planned and coordinated once the OTC can safely and legally reopen.

 Youth Project 

Additional funding for a youth project would be much appreciated. Children have been stuck in tiny apartments with their entire families. The need to do something special for the youth is very present.

As Jordan continues the reopening process, pools and waterparks may safely reopen at some point this summer. The airport is still closed, but travel within Jordan is much more accessible. As an organization, we are remaining vigilant and adhering to all safety measures during distributions. Society as a whole is struggling as people are still out of work. The need for support remains great and all communities are appreciative of what we are able to provide.

Mental Health services are needed now more than ever, and as the OTC awaits reopening, American FRRME has the chance to continue to make a significant impact.

 

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