It’s not often that we are given the opportunity to help those in unique positions of vulnerability and struggle. The #ProjectNewBeginnings campaign was launched this week in an effort to target the needs of specific families in refugee camps and deliver aid that will most benefit them in their time of need.
This campaign centers around the stories of three wonderful refugee families stuck in a time crunch between a land they fled and a new home where they can reunite with their loved ones. This campaign aims to be a small gesture of empowerment and solidarity for families that have been displaced, separated and smuggled. To quote a powerful statement from a refugee mother in Greece’s Ritsona Camp:
“Back home in Syria, we used to watch reports of refugees freezing in tents on television, and we used to say to ourselves ‘how can they live in those makeshift shacks?’ and then we found ourselves living in a tent in a refugee camp thousands of miles from home.”
This campaign is for those families who never expected to spend winter months in tents, who never expected to be separated from their children for years and who never expected to put their lives on pause for political instability. This is for the Othmans, the Al-Nazzals and the Al Sharoukhs.
The Othman Family:
Despite cheerful appearances, the Othmans will tell anyone who takes a moment to speak with them that their mind and heart lie with their 15-year-old son, who fled to Germany by himself and is still waiting for his family’s resettlement. Unfortunately, the Othmans have no way of sending him money and worry about how he will manage to buy new clothes and books for the upcoming school year. As an Eid present to the Othmans and their teenage son, we want to clothe him and buy school supplies so his family can live the next few months at peace, just until they’re resettled, knowing their son is taken care of.
The Al-Nazzal Family:
The Al-Nazzal family is facing some of the same dire circumstances. Their son is 9 years old and is also among the Syrian kids who fled ahead of their families in hopes of bringing them with him. Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a one-year separation turned into three years of refugee camps and smuggling. Their son has had to fend for himself in Germany over the years, speaking to his family only through WhatsApp calls. He will also be starting school soon and we would like to clothe him and buy school supplies.
In addition, the Al-Nazzal mother is six months pregnant and– due to the stress of migration, separation and nutritional deficiencies– faces a particularly difficult and dangerous pregnancy. She is being tended to by the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders in camp, but her family has spent a lot of money on caring for her and preparing for the baby. Since the pregnancy is dangerous, they will not allow the family to fly out during the last few months of her term. Instead, the family will have to wait until the mother gives birth to be allowed to go to Germany, where they can finally reunite with their son.
In the meantime, the Al-Nazzal mother remains on bed rest with three young children to take care of. We would like to raise money to buy the Al-Nazzal family food and supplies while their mother is on bed rest, and to lower their stress levels with respect to money and food until they are finally allowed to purchase their plane tickets to Germany.
The Al-Nazzals and the Othmans will face hefty flight costs:
In addition, the International Office of Migration recently stated that families being reunited in European countries have to pay for their own flights from their refugee camps to the country of their resettlement. As you can imagine, this is a burdensome policy that has put families in a stressful position, wondering how they will raise money to travel if they cannot work and are already struggling to eat.
The Othmans and the Al-Nazzals will have many costs facing them in the months to follow, and since they are not allowed to work during their first two years in Germany, we want to take this cost off their plate (around 300 euros per family member). Both families have been assigned to resettle in Germany with their estranged sons, but have not been given a definitive timeline. They expect the wait to be at least a couple of months, and the fathers from both families venture to Athens multiple times a week, waiting to hear any news of their resettlement process.
Back in June, a campaign by the same people raised $5,000 to provide the children, youth and women of Ritsona camp with Eid gifts and celebrations. The entire camp population felt the love from a successful Launchgood campaign. We hope that these three families will feel the same magic. So, please donate generously, share graciously, and let us know if you have any questions!