June 24, 2023
Voices of HopeOlive Tree Centres
“Refugees are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, with the same hopes and ambitions as us—except that a twist of fate has bound their lives to a global refugee crisis on an unprecedented scale.”
— Khaled Hosseini (author of The Kite Runner)
Maria* attends art classes at one of our Olive Tree Centres in Amman, Jordan. When I visited last month, she proudly showed me her drawing pointing out how she had carefully copied details from the picture provided by the teacher. Her smile and the evident joy she gets from the class make it easy to forget the multiple challenges Maria faces. Not only is she a refugee, in a country where she has no free access to education or healthcare, but she is also mute. Displacement disproportionately affects persons with disabilities leaving, them at higher risk of violence and exploitation, facing barriers to accessing basic services, and often being excluded from education and livelihood opportunities (UNHCR).
The World Health Organisation estimates that around 15 per cent of the world’s population has a disability. Several million are thought to be displaced, but the reality is that they often remain invisible within uprooted communities.
We are working with our local partners to ensure our Olive Tree programme is inclusive and accessible to all, proactively seeking opportunities to ensure that refugees like Maria are not invisible but, instead, welcomed.
Rimon* fled Baghdad to Lebanon but, finding it impossible to make a life for himself there with his young family, is now seeking refuge in Fuheis, Jordan. Whilst in Iraq he worked for the American military and so fears returning to his homeland. However, in Jordan, he is not permitted to work and is therefore unable to earn a living with which to pay rent, school fees, or household bills. Food coupons funded by Mosaic through our Olive Tree Centre in Fuheis provide a lifeline to this refugee family along with hundreds of others.
*names changed to protect privacy
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Posted by Mosaic Team