ROP members, Mary Madsen and Sasha Crow created a grassroots organization,
, to provide much needed assistance to Iraqi refugees. Sasha recently wrote to ROP from Jordan:
"Mary and I have made several extended visits to Amman (and last year, to Syria) to work directly with Iraqi families. The work is both heartbreaking and heartening. The heartbreak comes every day when we visit Iraqi refugee families – hearing their stories of tremendous loss, trauma from experiencing violence and being forced to leave behind their homes and lives in Iraq, and the exhaustion and hopelessness that is their every day reality after 6 years of this suffering. We often share tears with those we visit. The heartening comes from being able to provide some relief to these families – and that this relief is made possible by the many, many US and other countries’ citizens who reach out to those so wronged by our nation’s foreign policies.
But, as you are well aware, the sinking economy has meant a radical decrease in donations to non-profits. Collateral Repair Project is relatively small compared with long-existing, larger organizations – but we have prided ourselves (and more importantly, we have gained the trust and respect of Iraqis) because we reach out very personally and with immediacy to meet the needs of families we meet. However, because we rely completely on grassroots funding, we are suffering greatly as ordinary folks tighten their belts in order to survive the current financial catastrophe. Collateral Repair Project is in real danger of having to fold and end our vital work to provide relief to destitute Iraqi refugees while building peace through mutually respectful relationships.
So, as the 6th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq approaches, we are reaching out to everyone to ask for help so that we can continue our work. Money goes further here than in the US so that even small donations can provide a tremendous amount of change in lives.
I am asking if ROP will consider spreading the word that the Iraqi refugee crisis still exists and, in fact, in many ways people are suffering more after so many years of destitution and as hope to return to their country diminishes. Please help to remind people that the war has not ended and that the victims of it are still suffering and need their help.
I am writing an almost daily blog of our work here in Amman and with stories and photos of Iraqi refugee families. You can read it at www.CollateralRepairProject.blogspot.com and, of course, our web site has much information about this ongoing crisis and our work…
In peace & action,