Jordan, Middle East

JOR01a - Manara International - Sewing Training: Partnership Reports

Other Reports Available:

Print friendly version

Back to Partnership

Report Date: April 18, 2017

Report from BHW Jordan Partnership Facilitator Following Visit April 2017


Recent Events

Refugee Camps

tough lifeAs we experienced last year, it is not possible to get into the large refugee camps. They are the realm of the international agencies and they do not like locals going into them or being involved. However, many people who can do so leave. The fact that they leave means that they have some sort of initiative and probably some sort of resources. 

We visited a couple of little family clusters that the Baptist Church is Zarqa is working with and that Manara is partnering with. They are poor, but they are making a go of it. The church recognises the opportunity to introduce people to Christ as part of this so it is not entirely a response to poverty, good on them. These people are registered with the UN so at some time will be shifted out. We spent some time in one village of 80 people, an extended family from Hama, Syria. Hama is a city on the banks of the Orontes River in west-central Syria. It is located 213 km north of Damascus and 46 kilometres north of Homs. They were bee keepers and had a profitable lifestyle. It’s now in the hands of Daesh. They will never be able to go back and the family may be scattered all over the world once they are moved on. 

very gratefulSome of the funding we put in goes to these sorts of people. They get food supplements, clothes and heaters in the winter, and help to start a school for the 40 children. I think it is a better application of the funds we send and this church is evangelical where many of the others are not so there is little gospel involved, just church tradition.  

Unfortunately Manara has lost a major donor so they are in a bit of a hole in terms of funding the food supplements and refugee support. 

Sewing Training (JOR01a)

learning new skillsWhenever I visit there are only a couple of women there although they say there are 15 being trained at any one time. What they produce is of good quality and most of the women catch on pretty quickly. The ones we talked to are very thankful for the assistance. A number of the women have left, one family just a week ago to Australia. Nihad is still overseeing it and she has a good woman to train the women. They want to start another centre nearby in Fahays, a small Christian village where there are many Iraqi refugees and near one of the churches they work with in distributing food. They need about JOD400/month (US$560) for rent and about JOD100/month (US$140) for a trainer.  

Camps and Youth

There is quite a bit going on at Manara. The young guys are getting ready for the summer camps coming up. Suhail is very focused on preparing for the camps, but also getting the training material out to the Christian youth generation of the Middle East. He had just returned the day before from meetings in Egypt about this. When I asked him about his priorities, it was not the refurbishment of the camp, it was the development and distribution of the resources on social media. 

rudimentary schoolLast year they did refurbish the bathrooms which was a real blessing. The priorities for the camp are; refurbish the kitchens (about US$20k), put in some refurbished containers (approx US$4k each and they want to do four), and at some stage in the future, build an indoor meeting room so it can be used all year. 

The Good Book Shop

Maher, the guy in charge, says it is going really well and still growing slowly. It certainly is a nice place to hang out. 


Personal Stories

tough lifeAhmad Ali Alsoloum

Ahmad is from Damascus in Syria where he owned a clothing store until someone painted anti-government graffiti on the outside of his store. The next day, government soldiers came and took him to prison assuming that he was the one responsible. He was beaten and tortured in prison for five months. He had to flee with his children for their lives, leaving everything behind, and ended up in Jordan. He’s been away from his country now for five years and still suffers with many medical issues including anxiety. Our partners in Jordan are working together to care for Ahmad and his family through this season of his life.


left husbandRonda Mosuli

Ronda Mosuli is from the outskirts of Damascus. When she fled with her five children from Syria they left her husband behind. She’s not sure if he’s even still alive as she hasn’t heard from him since. She’s been living in Jordan for four years. After living in Zataari, the largest refugee settlement near the Syrian border for 9 months, they moved to a city south of there. Since she has five daughters to support, Jordanian families and churches have helped her with a place to live and essentials. Her daughters are not in formal education but taking supporting classes at a church that assists them. She shared that she’s feeling lost in life and praying God will show her a new path again.