“There was a girl who got a pink jacket who wanted to sleep in it! Makawir being on the cusp of the mountain it gets so much wind and now with the winter temperatures is very cold. The children were so happy to have jackets to go to school in. The women were very happy with the food boxes. They say it is all so useful and such good quality. Some families had run out of basic provisions. It was very timely to be giving these very poor families such substantial help.”

"The parents were delighted with the food gifts which will continue to make the rest of the month of Ramadan less stressful as they try to make this month special. One young boy couldn't believe that the whole box of Halawih was for the family and asked me how much they could take from the box. He rushed to his siblings shouting that they could have as much as they wanted instead of just "the enough to cover the end of their thumb"

"The kids' shoes were well fought over and one little girl who probably wore a size thirty insisted that she really needed a red pair that were at least size thirty seven. I tried to convince her that a blue pair would probably be just her size... Unconvinced she asked me for some tissues. I had a package of FINE (Kleenex) and gave her a handful. She shoved them into the toes of the red shoes and walked off looking a bit like Mickey Mouse."

"We are treating a young Bedouin man suffering from very severe diabetes and because of his family's poverty his diet is less than adequate to help his disease. His mother does the best she can but often his diet is mainly bread and tomatoes from a nearby farm. Imagine his mother's delight as she was able to hide some of the high protein lentils and beans so she could provide her son with a more adequate diet to help control his disease."

"Yesterday I visited a family with nine kids and the mother was in tears as she showed me the empty can that usually held sugar. As you know the Bedouin are very reluctant to have photos taken but as I did on the first distribution I write anecdotes on some of those receiving the gifts."

"We visited a young widow who lived in one small room with five young children. She was very poor but uncomplaining and when we gave her the boxes of food and supplies she wanted us to stay and eat but we avoided that invitation Then as I was leaving she handed me four eggs from her few very scrawny chickens. I tried to convince her to cook them for her children but I could see that refusal was really upsetting her and understanding her Bedouin culture so well I could see I had to take them. Finally she called to me "If you have enough at your house maybe Princess Sarvath could use them". Actually at our next visit in the Badia I gave them to an old lady who didn't know the history and who was delighted to have them."

"One divorced lady again living in a shed like room with four beautiful children. It was really cold in their room. Before we left the kids had opened one of the boxes and found some sugar and were out shouting each other with the news that they could have tea with sugar in it tonight. The mother was almost emotional as she showed me the completely empty sugar tin. These people are not beggars and cheerfully manage with so little. I feel ashamed at the comfort of my life and warmth of my home."

"When we visited a tent in the Northern Badia and unloaded the five bundles from the car to the tent of one of our recovering tuberculosis patients his wife asked me to choose the special box that would give her the best result. When I told her that the whole five bundles were for her family and were a gift from some people in England who wanted to help her during this winter, she started to cry, tears of gratitude and asked me if she could send the donors some gift from her very poor tent. I was happy to tell her that the donors were just happy that her family would have a special time this winter."

"The poverty of some of the people of the Badia was distressing but in spite of this even though we

tried not to accept gifts we arrived back in Mafraq with a few gifts. One lady gave me four balls of Jameed because she knew that Sidi Hassan likes mansaf. We also received four eggs and a bottle of Shaneenih, one desperately poor widow tried to give me a chicken to cook when I returned to Mafraq but I was able to convince her that after Ramadan I will come and eat chicken with her. I can buy her one of the rotassari in Mafraq and eat it with her. So it was very satisfying to be able to help so many and their gratitude was very moving. I can assure the donors in Britain that their efforts gave me much joy as we were able to distribute these gifts on behalf of Their Royal Highnesses from the AJS."

"Um Ahlam (the director of Um el Jimal Cooperative) called to say that she received many phone calls asking her to thank the donors profusely as the packages were over and above what they expected, and unlike the poor quality packages they had received as handouts from other organisations in the past."

 

Contents of parcels:

  • 15 kg rice
  • 5 kg lentils
  • 5 kg haricot beans
  • 5 kg broad beans (foul)
  • 2 kg chickpeas (hummus)
  • 1 kg cracked wheat (bhurgul)
  • 5 kg sugar
  • 1 kg za’atar
  • 4 kg white cheese
  • 1 kg date molasses
  • 1 litre olive oil
  • 2 litres cooking oil
  • 1 kg halawa taheena
  • 2 large jars taheena
  • 6 large jars tomato paste
  • 3 kg olives
  • 1 kg tea
  • 1 kg coffee
  • 2 large tins milk powder
  • 1 big tin mixed biscuits
  • 3 kg dates (Ramadan)
  • 4 packets gamaredeen
  • (Ramadan)
  • 1 large tin orange juice
  • Powder (Ramadan)

Hygiene products:

  • 4 large shampoo
  • bottles
  • 10 cakes Nabulsi soap
  • 4 large toothpaste
  • tubes with
  • toothBrushes
  • 3 giant boxes of
  • detergent
  • Clothes:
  • 6 pairs of shoes
  • 5 winter jackets
  • 5 blankets

Parcels were distributed twice a year to 300 families in the following areas in Jordan and we hope to increase this to 500 families in 2017:

  • Azraq, Dlail, Makawer,
  • Um El Jimal, Mafraq,
  • Tafilah, Sultani,
  • Husseiniyah, Wadi Abiad,
  • Ghor Al-Safi, Rajif,
  • Dlagha, Taybeh, and
  • mgablain.