We hope you are staying warm in these winter months! Read on for highlights from the first two months of 2019. Thank you as always for your consistent support - everything we do is possible because of you!
A New Tent: In January, an intense winter storm hit Azraq with freezing temperatures and gale-force winds. A Jordanian family with four young children living in a tent in a rural desert area literally lost their home in the middle of the night when the winds ripped the tent from under them. TSF and our local partners at the South Azraq Women’s Association responded immediately. Police picked up the family from the desert and brought them to one of our classrooms that we quickly converted into a shelter for the night. In the morning, we brought warm jackets and other outdoor clothes for the children. We purchased a new sturdy tent and carpet for the family. Within hours, the tent was properly set up and the family was back on their feet.
Fuel & Wheelchairs: TSF additionally distributed fuel for gas heaters to over 30 families and brought wheelchairs to 5 individuals in need this month. Special thanks to our donors Adnan and the Sunrise Rotary Club for supporting these efforts!
Poetry & Art Workshop in Azraq
TSF partnered with the organization Voices of the Children to run a 3-part workshop with the students at our Azraq Center. In exchange with a private school in Geneva, Switzerland, the program centers around the concept “What is Home?” through three distinct workshops:
Part 1: Poetry - Students were introduced to poetry composition and each student wrote their own poem beginning with “Home is…”.
Part 2: Artistic Interpretation - The poems were translated and exchanged with the other student group. Our students in Jordan read the Geneva poems and created drawings reflecting the words they read. The students learned from each other's poetry that even though they come from such different circumstances, they found they had more in common than what sets them apart!
Part 3: Mural Creation - Next week, we will conduct the third part of the workshop where students will create a large-scale mural using elements from their drawings! This summer, we will share the mural in a moving exhibition in Jordan and other areas!
Montessori Teacher Training
With support from the Blossom Hill Foundation, The Syria Fund will be opening up the first ever early education program in Azraq at our new campus this Spring. To create a program inspired by Montessori teaching methodologies, we partnered with the Modern Montessori School (MMS) in Amman, Jordan to host a 180-hour teacher training program for 11 local trainees from Azraq. The training provided both theoretical and hands-on learning opportunities at the school in Amman. Through MMS, we’ve acquired an Arabic-language Montessori curriculum and when our school opens this Spring, we will host 30 children ages 3-5 in this innovative setting!
Make sure to follow us on Facebook & Instagram (@thesyriafund) to stay up-to-date on our activities! We appreciate everything you do to support the communities we serve. With gratitude, The Syria Fund team
After more than 7 months of work, we are proud to wrap up 2018 with the completion of our new campus at The Azraq School!
Thanks to our partners Emergency Architecture & Human Rights (EA-HR) and with support from HRJ, Nashmyat al-Badiya and our extremely generous donors, we have successfully completed the construction of a new education facility for The Azraq School. This incredible new campus consists of 6 classrooms, including a library and an IT room, a kitchen, three toilets, one outdoor communal seating area with shade, and a sports court.
Beginning in early 2019, we will open this campus to host more than 250 Syrian and Jordanian children with enriching programming including classes in Arabic, Math, English, Art, Music, IT, and more. The facility will create jobs for more than 20 adults including teachers, support staff, cooks, and more!
The construction process began in June and consisted of a huge training component where local workers were taught how to build compressed earth bricks using local materials found in the Azraq area. The program trained and employed nearly 55 local workers (both Syrian & Jordanian), and indirectly supported nearly 350 members of their families.
Throughout the summer, 22 international volunteers came to Azraq to work alongside the architects and local workers. Intricate building details include Catalan vaulted ceilings in the downstairs rooms, domed upstairs rooms with skylights and windows throughout, Mashrabiya woodwork, and beautiful brick work throughout the facility.
Next up, we'll be furnishing the classrooms, hiring additional staff, and registering new students! We are so excited to bring these rooms to life!
First look: The Azraq School new campus - YouTube
Interested in getting involved? Consider making an end-of-year donation to help support this program! Your donation will provide classroom materials, support teacher salaries, and provide enriching and innovative programming that gives children the education that they deserve.