|Syrian Refugees, (c) Reuters, courtesy Gulf News, Dubai.|
ne Help; Een Flijchtlinkj
The Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has responded to Syrian refugees fleeing the violence into Jordan. One of the supplies that MCC requires is personal hygiene kits for the refugees known as "relief kits".
According to the United Nations (UN), at least 12,500 registered refugees from Syria have entered Jordan. Other reports indicate that Syrian refugees number in the tens of thousands (as many as 80,000). While Jordan has traditionally been known for its history of openness and hospitality towards various refugee groups in the Middle East, but it is not a wealthy nation and has already admitted to the UN that money is low for providing for the latest arrivals.
Putting together one or more relief kits is an excellent way that religious and non-religious ethnic Mennonites can help to build ties of peace and compassion between their culture and others who are experiencing need. The relief kits are a basic aid component and do not carry any specific religious or political overtones -- just an expression of compassion and concern from the Mennonite diaspora to the recipient.
Nor do you have to be Mennonite in order to participate -- the program is open to donations from anyone who wishes to become involved. Collecting supplies for the kits is an excellent activity for school projects, 4-H projects, Women's auxiliaries, or even a theme for a household party or luncheon -- so use some imagination, help MCC restock their supplies and make a difference in a very personal, very non-costly manner. Historically, many Ladies' Aid Societies and church youth programs spent much of their time collecting for and compiling kits.
If you have any questions, either contact me via the blog or contact MCC directly. Directions and addresses to locations for sending or dropping off the supplies are on the MCC website (see below). Otherwise, most Mennonite churches will gladly receive supplies and make sure that they are sent on to the nearest collection point.
I have also included a link to other sorts of kits and supplies that are collected and distributed by the MCC internationally.
The following is from the MCC site indicating instructions and supplies for each kit.
Relief kits provide valuable supplies to families traumatized by war and disasters. In recent years, kits have been sent to Haiti, Iraq, Gaza, Bosnia, Serbia, Nepal, Mozambique, Indonesia and Honduras.
Contents (NEW items only)
- 4 large bars bath soap (leave in wrapping)
- 1 plastic bottle shampoo (380-710ml / 13-24oz; place bottle in a re-sealable plastic bag)
- 4 large bars of laundry soap (Some stores carry Fels Naptha, Sunlight or Zote brands; contact your local MCC warehouse with questions)
- 1 squeeze-tube toothpaste (minimum 130ml / 6oz; leave in box)
- 4 adult-size toothbrushes (leave in packaging)
- 4 new bath towels (medium weight, dark or bright colors)
- 2 wide-tooth combs(6 to 8in / 15 to 20cm)
- 1 fingernail clipper
- 1 box adhesive bandages (minimum 40, assorted)
- 1 package sanitary pads (18-24 thin maxi)
Place contents in a box or bag and deliver to one of the drop-off locations in Canada or the U.S. The kit will be re-packed in a new 5-gallon plastic pail with lid.