CRISIS IN SYRIA: “Please don't forget us!"
Wafaa Adnan Albaik, 32, a case manager at CARE's refugee center in Amman describes her work.
I have been working at CARE's refugee center for three months. This is the sort of work I have always wanted to do. I've always been interested in humanitarian work, and it's very rewarding to help people in need.
We meet Syrian refugees, assess them, decide on the best way to help them. We might give them emergency cash so they don't get evicted from where they are living or help to pay for medicine and food. We also refer people to other organizations who might be able to help. At the end of the day, I call up cases to book appointments so I can follow up with people and see if we can help provide further assistance.
Working at the center is very satisfying. I listen to people and try my best to help them but, at times, my work is difficult and upsetting. In Mafraq, I met a family who is very poor – the mother had to sew clothes into a blanket to cover up her children at night. They had no food or water. Their home suffers from humidity and on rainy days, the water would flood the house. When leaving their house, the lady cried out, "Please don't forget us, please don't forget us!"
Refugees also tell me about life inside Syria. They talk of being surrounded all the time, no food, no water, hearing the constant bombing, the children living in constant fear; many of them have been attacked at their homes. People had to bury bodies at night, if they did so in daytime, they were at risk of being killed.
The hardest part of my job is managing expectations. How do I tell someone who comes to us that we can't help or that they need to go to another organization? I feel very upset when I can't help someone. By listening and empathizing with refugees, I hope to be able to provide relief and support.
We need more funding so we can assist as many people in need as possible. Yesterday, 120 refugees came to our center – some days we have had as many as 400.
The center will run for as long as we have funding and the situation for refugees here in Jordan remains the same. We anticipate that this will be a prolonged crises with increasing needs but we currently only have enough money to keep the center going until August.