For CUAIs first meeting of term we were very excited to host Jordan Hattar, a graduate student from Trinity Hall and founder of Help4Refugees.org. Jordan’s inspiring talk outlined how he found himself setting up his own charity supported by UNHCR providing safer shelter in the form of caravans for the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, which currently is home to approximately 83,000 refugees.
Jordan’s work was prompted from collecting hundreds of refugees testimonies in the Zataari camp, which have been used by the BBC and Jordan Times. He found the most popular wish among the refugees he interviewed was to return to their homes in Syria, but in the short term to have better housing. The camp itself when Jordan started his work was submerged in water leading to unsafe and unhygienic conditions, resulting in frequent infant deaths – the need for safer housing was obvious and vital. Now, partly thanks to Jordan’s fundraising efforts, every single family in the Zaatari camp has access to a caravan.
Jordan finished his talk by taking a couple of questions, one of which was how can we help as students and activists? His answer was that we can obviously raise money for causes doing vital work, like his own and the Syrian Medical Society. However, ultimately we need to share stories and humanise the Syrian refugee crisis.
CUAI would like to say a massive thank you to Jordan and everyone who came to the event.