Women, Peace and Conflict Blog

ThereseTherese Hartwell (Chair, Human Rights Task Force Peace and Conflict Committee) writes about her experiences around the world -- in Amman, Jordan, volunteering with an organization working with refugees, in Rwanda on a friendship tour, and where ever her passion to help women takes her.

 


 

Rwanda's Women Building Peace

Rwanda's Women Building Peace

Rwanda! What images come to your mind when you hear the name? For most of us, thoughts emerge of the horrific genocide that occurred in this country 20 years ago but which many of us were only vaguely aware of and only vaguely understood. Yet two decades after the genocide, Rwanda has set an example for the world by its remarkable progress toward recovery, due in no small part to the involvement of women in the process. The green rolling hills and friendly people, belie the vicious murders that took place here in the very recent past.

In September, I…

A Family of Iraqi Refugees

Today I met with Jacki Scott from Family Kitchen. She founded the organization to help provide food security for Jordan’s most needy residents, not limited to refugees. Family Kitchen collects excess food from 5-star hotels, recycling it to poor families. They also have a food security program in locations outside of Amman where hunger and malnutrition are common. The food for this program comes from donated food items and purchased food from cash donations. The organization also accepts clothing and household items to give to needy families. Check them out at www.FamilyKitchenJo.org.

Jacki tells me the story of…

Visit to the Zaatari Refugee Camp

Visit to the Zaatari Refugee Camp

I am now safely back at home in Saudi Arabia and have been meaning to write this post since I arrived back almost a week ago, but I think I have needed some time to process all I saw in Jordan. Several people have asked me if I am suffering from PTSD, and, while part of me scoffs, I wonder if perhaps, to some degree, I am.

On one of my last days in Jordan, I had the extraordinary, but emotionally taxing, opportunity to visit the Zaatari refugee camp outside of Amman, the first official camp for Syrian refugees, now…

Amman: April 29, 2014

I am writing from Amman, Jordan where I am volunteering with an organization working with urban refugees. (Urban refugees are those who live in cities and towns, as opposed to in refugee camps.)

Two years ago, the events of the Arab Spring brought hope that better times were coming to the people of the Middle East. Two years later, while some things may have improved, Syria has completely imploded. I remember visiting the country in 2007—sipping tea in a lovely garden while a shopkeeper cleaned the painted window I had bought; visiting the magnificent Krak de Chevaliers, outside of…

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