On April 9th and 10th, participants from Peace Boat’s 83rd Global Voyage had the opportunity to visit refugee camps in Jordan alongside the Syrian border.
With hundreds of thousands dead and an estimated 2.5 million refugees continuing to increase, resolution of the conflict that has been raging in Syria for over three years is an urgent challenge for the international community. This large influx of refugees has steadily placed a strain on Jordan’s infrastructure for water, electricity, education and health care.
The 83rd global voyage spent two days visiting Jordan, where an estimated 600,000 refugees from Syria now live. As well as visiting refugee camps near the Syrian border, a small group traveled to a rehabilitation center in the city of Amman, where they delivered supplies brought onboard the ship from Japan provided by Lush Japan Co. Ltd, JIM-NET and other supporters.
Participants also took part in an exchange program with children now at the center, many of whom have sustained life-long injuries. The exchange shed light on the reality of the continuing conflict in Syria, giving participants a very real insight into the horrors of what is taking place in the country. With doctors and medical facilities also being targeted, working to provide aid to those in need in the country is extremely dangerous. Yet, there are people and organizations working tirelessly to provide relief on the ground in Syria and across bordering nations such as Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon.
During the exchange program, the children interacted with participants, playing games and performing music together. The experience with these children showed that even in the face of suffering and adversity it is still possible to smile, laugh and play; an experience that will stay with participants for a lifetime.
For more information about the Syrian conflict and how you can help please click on the following links:
Information courtesy of Peace Boat Japan: https://www.facebook.com/peaceboat
Photos courtesy of UNCHR.org and Peace Boat Japan