Messengers of Peace School for refugees – Amman, Jordan

The school for refugees run by Father Khalil Jaar was set up to accompany the refugee children and their families who had to flee from Iraq in 2014 and to wait for a visa to go to other countries. Father Jaar set up this free school for children in 2014 when 800 Christian families fled from Iraq to the area of Marka-Hashemi close to the Parish of Marka. In the beginning, most of these refugee families were staying in the parish as they had no other place to stay but as time passed Father Jaar was able to find housing for them and found a way to help provide them with food and medication. Now the community they have built has more than one thousand families depending on the school and the parish for education, food, medical services and moral and psychological support. Unfortunately, many of these Iraqi families cannot get refugee status and are therefore left without any status in Jordan until they can go back to Iraq.

The school currently has 300 children attending classes during the week although more and more families are coming to the Parish of Marka for assistance every day. The children are given a warm meal for attending school and their families are given food vouchers to help them buy food for all of the family members. Most of the children and their families fled from Iraq during the war and therefore lost many months of schooling, however the school of Father Jaar helps them to catch up to the curriculum to prepare them for entering the schooling system in Europe, Canada or the United States as this is most likely where they will be sent once their refugee status is recognized. Although the school was set up originally by the Parish to support Iraqi refugee families, it now also provides for education, food and medical treatment for Syrian refugees and for Jordanian families in need.

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Messengers of Peace School for refugees

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  • Free medical care clinic
  • Projects for Syrian Iraqi refugees
  • Providing food and medicine to Iraqi refugees
  • Making masks for COVID prevention
  • Teaching through Zoom
  • School of Markha

History

Iraq is one of the most underdeveloped countries in the Middle East, with a life expectancy of 69. The average years of schooling in Iraq is around 7 years which means that most children leave school at the age of 12 and are expected to work to help provide for their families. Syria is in a similar situation with a life expectancy of 71 and an average of 8 years of schooling, with many families forced to take their children out of school due to the civil strife and unstable political situation.

Due to the social unrest and religious tensions in these countries, many Christian families have been forced to flee and some of those have fled to Jordan in the hopes of a better life for themselves. Jordan has an average of 12 years of schooling for children, as many children finish high school before going into the workforce and a life expectancy of 75 years. The Messengers of Peace school tries to help these refugees by providing free education, food and medical treatment for the time they are waiting to be welcomed in other countries.

Mission

The mission of the Messengers of Peace school is to provide free education, food and medical treatment to refugee children and their families alongside poor local Jordanian children and their families. Aside from this school program, the Parish of Marka also cares for handicapped and elderly people who are not in a financial position to get support elsewhere as well as orphans and homeless children.

The Project supported by the Caritas Pro Vitae Gradu Charitable Trust

Thanks to our support the Messengers of Peace school will be able to continue providing free education, food and medical treatment to the poor refugee and local families in the Marka area of Amman as well as helping them and supporting their community to fight against the current COVID-19 pandemic that has hit Jordan. Since the pandemic started, the number of people in need of help has increased drastically as many people in this community have lost their jobs and have no other way to sustain and feed their families. This has meant that more people rely on the Messengers of Peace to help them survive this difficult period and we therefore continue to support their important project.