Madison Monthly Meeting carefully considered how to contribute toward the Syrian refugee crisis at its Meeting for Business on First Day, December 6, 2015.
Madison Friends Meeting agreed to contribute $1000 to each of three organizations based on information from the national American Friends service Committee (AFSC) office in Philadelphia, PA obtained by the Meeting’s AFSC Committee. Friends who wish to make additional contributions may contact any of these organizations directly.
1. Funding to AFSC (www.afsc.org) to help establish “information centers” along the refugee route in Europe to inform migrants what to expect and what their options are (i.e. where they could seek asylum). This need was identified by Giovanna Negretti, AFSC Regional Director for the Middle East, who traveled with three Nobel Peace Laureates, to shed light on the plight of Syrian women refugees, in concert with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
This is an immediate need and could be viewed as seed money to help get the information center(s) started. If AFSC decides not to fund the information centers, the Meeting requested that the funds be used in other AFSC work with Syrian refugees.
2. Hand and Hand for Syria (www.handinhandforsyria.org.uk) — This organization works with doctors and hospitals inside Syria through local partners in Lebanon, Turkey, Syria and Jordan. Hand and Hand is a British organization that has worked in Syria since the conflict began there in 2011. The organization has extensive contacts inside the country and delivers a wide range of aid, e.g. medical, food, educational materials, water, sanitation and hygiene programs, community projects, etc. All donations go directly to Syria because operational costs in the UK are covered by other means.
3. Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization (JHCO) (http://en.jhco.org.jo/default.aspx) — JHCO was established in 1990 as a multi-functional relief and humanitarian foundation. It is a non-governmental, non-profit organization registered with the Ministry of Social Development of Jordan with the mandate to coordinate humanitarian response efforts in many countries. With the onset of the Syrian crisis, JHCO has turned its focus inward and has contributed substantially to the early relief efforts to serve Syrian refugees. The request can be made that contribution go toward JHCO’s work with Syrian refugees.
JHCO works with many non-governmental partner agencies such as the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Oxfam and Mercy Corps and with UN organizations such as the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the High Commissioner of the UN for Refugees.
More information in this article by AFSC, December 16, 2015: Walking with Syrian refugees toward sanctuary