Marwa | Charity Worker + Photographer | Jerash, Jordan
How has COVID-19 affected the groups/individuals that your charity serves?
The charity has stopped working except in cases of emergency. Every Ramadan, the charity carries out many projects, the most important are the collective Iftars and the purchase of Al Eid clothes for children. Refugees have very few chances to survive, as they're prohibited from working and don't have health insurance, so they often suffer from food and basic needs shortage. We’re getting a lot of calls from people who have nothing to eat or feed their kids, but, unfortunately, we can’t do much now due to the stopping of donations and the lockdown. Despite the small size of the charity, it makes a huge difference to the people here and it’s the only place they can come to ask for help. I hope the organizations responsible for refugees worldwide find and support these small associations in the camps, as they can help save the lives of the forgotten people here.
Are the needs of marginalized women and the elderly in Gaza Camp being addressed at this time?
Unfortunately they aren’t. There are elderlies who have no one to help them, and for some we're the only people who know they exist. Some women have 10 or 13 children and they're the only supporters for them. Before, we had volunteers go around to their houses and hand out food, blankets and some of the basic things they need. Now I sometimes go myself to their houses and try to provide at least food and milk for babies. It will be a very tough month for people here!
How have your friends and community come together during this time?
It’s hard to sit in the house, I do miss my friends and all the good memories from when we spend time together out of the camp. We are trying to workout, practice mindfulness, read, and make video calls so we can stay inside. It was hard for the community here not to do the yearly Ramadan rituals that include gatherings, but they followed the rules in order for this virus to disappear soon.
Marwa is a charity coordinator at a non-profit in Gaza Refugee Camp in Jerash, Jordan.