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News from Middle East, Mediterranean and Balkans
AMURTEL (Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team Ladies) in Greece is working to give relief to refugees with a particular focus on women who are pregnant, birthing, postpartum and those who have infants.
The situation there is beyond the scope of the few big aid agencies and massively beyond what economically-crippled Greece can handle. The bulk of the work on the ground with thousands of refugees arriving daily is being done by small volunteer groups from within Greece and abroad. AMURTEL is one of those groups and we and those we serve ask for your help. Please visit our crowdfunding campaign to contribute:
Help us keep the center going. Your contributions are greatly appreciated.
And please spread the word by sharing our Facebook page, AMURTEL Greece for Refugee Mothers and Babies
Our AMURT project in Lebanon for Syrian refugees is now funded by the German government, with over 50 staff and 30 drivers. We have 250 children in our own school and 1,000 in public schools that we also support.
The Syrian crisis has led to a large number of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and refugees. At the end of September this figure stood at around 2 million IDPs in Syria and 400,000 refugees in neighboring countries. Most of these people depend on humanitarian assistance, or sharing host families’ dwindling resources to meet basic needs. This figure is growing daily and has led to a doubling of people in need in the last couple of months.
AMURT and AMURTEL has local volunteers in Syria and Lebanon distributing food, non-food items and providing assistance with medical and educational needs. In Lebanon, AMURT runs case management services for refugee families hosted by their friends and relatives in the mountain villages overlooking Beirut. The AMURT team selects the most urgent cases and works patiently to meet their individual needs, be they getting a child admitted to a local school, or finding a hospital willing to provide urgent medical care.
Many of the refugees have harrowing tales to tell. Mohammed, a grandfather, took shelter with relatives in western Syria, but had trouble even getting bread as the streets were too dangerous to enter. He used his savings to pay an exorbitant fee to a driver to take him across the border. “It was like escaping from jail,” Mohammed said. “The driver took a lot of money because we could die in the street.” We have organized much-needed medical supplies and winter items for Mohammed and his family.
AMURT is appealing for funds to meet the needs of the increasing numbers of refugees seeking our assistance.
Zahraa and her family arrived in Lebanon as refugees from Syria a month ago. For the first two weeks they stayed at a construction site but are now in temporary housing. AMURT helped Zahraa to go to school and provided her family with bedding and other necessities for the winter.
These siblings escaped Syria with their mother. Their father had to stay behind as he is on dialysis and the treatment is beyond their means in Lebanon. AMURT helped this family with clothes and bedding in preparation for the cold months ahead.