As 2020 draws to a close, we are reflecting on what has been a difficult and challenging year for many of us. We are sending Season’s greetings in the sincere hope that 2021 will bring more positive times and that you, individually, will enjoy peace and rest as the year turns. We look ahead to what we trust will be a better year for everyone.
It’s been a busy time for Action Learning Associates and we have observed the resilience of many of our customers as they have adapted to new ways of working, often almost overnight. We’ve been pleased to be able to provide support and professional development training in the virtual world, helping organisations to work and manage teams remotely. In this last year virtual action learning has taken on new significance in enabling people to maintain meaningful connections with each other.
This year, in lieu of Christmas cards, we will be donating to Help Refugees Jordan. There is stiff competition for support, more than ever this pandemic year, however we have chosen Help Refugees Jordan for many reasons:
*Jordan has been wonderfully hospitable to refugees from many countries since 1947/8, when the occupation of Palestine caused an exodus which has swollen further over the years.
* The majority of the people supported by Help Refugees Jordan are people fleeing the Syrian civil war. Before Covid, the priority was to provide a school in Amman, the capital to which people gravitate, in the hope of finding work and a place to stay. There is also a school in Al Azraq, in the north eastern corner of Jordan, close to the Syrian border
Most of the children are Syrian, who often arrive severely traumatised, and the teachers are themselves refugees. Both schools are currently closed due to the pandemic but HRJ is reaching the children with weekly work packages and via WhatsApp ‘classes’. These are done not only for academic reasons but also to support the mental health of these children who have been cooped up for months now.
* As well as the two schools, some supporters have chosen to donate to particular families, where there is no able adult who might scratch a living, and to one lovely woman fostering children without families.
* Most refugees in Jordan do not live in camps, but wherever they can find a place… with kind people, in converted garages, in houses no one else wants. This means that neither the UNCHR nor most NGOs are feeding the unemployed, the vulnerable, the many families with people with disabilities. At least in the camps most people get one decent meal a day. The drastically overstretched Jordanian government is providing bread and clean water. That’s it.
* Our donation will be sent via The Mandala Trust, a UK charity with almost zero overheads, and 100% of our gift will be transferred directly to few staff on the ground and the volunteers there who will get it to the children and their families.
* Please consider opening your heart and offering a gift to Help Refugees Jordan via the Mandala Trust…..as you donate, let the Mandala Treasurer know the money is for Help Refugees Jordan by dropping a line to her at <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Last, a story. A regular and generous donor is an elderly lady who lives alone.
This year, she sold her jewellery and sent the proceeds to support the refugees in Jordan. This heart-warming thank you picture has kindly been shared by her.
We hope to continue to remain resilient for all that 2021 brings, with an uncertain political environment and an as yet uncharted path back to normal ways of working and living. We wish you a nourishing and restful break over this time.