“The highest level of living is giving” is the acting motto of Hands-On Hope one of the NGO’s in Jordan that is building hope and community. In Amman I meet Jacki the women behind Hands-On Hope. With radiating eyes she explains the different projects she is working on in and around Jordan. On the table lies a meticulously kept file of the many cases she has her hands on. ‘There are so many people who need extra support.’
‘How did I get involved into supporting people from Gaza? During the Gaza war I was watching a television program that showed that critically injured people who couldn’t be operated in Gaza were evacuated to Amman for proper treatment. Together with a friend I visited several hospitals to investigate and inquire if the wounded needed any extra help. We were shocked to find many of the Gazans were severely injured, often burned and sometimes even in coma. We found them penniless in a foreign country and started making lists of needed items posting them on Facebook, calling on our friends for support.’
‘This also brought together funding after the war to help supply practical items for basic survival like heaters in winter, gas bottles, clothes and blankets. Meanwhile we are also building homes for the homeless. Our goal is to construct fifteen homes for families in Gaza whose houses were destroyed by missiles. One of the many children who was injured is Odai, a boy of only fourteen years old who suffered injuries at both arms. We spoke to him while he was in Amman. His father was killed by a rocket leaving Odai and his eight brothers and sisters orphans. The children had to remove fourteen unexploded bombs from the remains of their home.’
‘Another Gazan we met is Muhammed. We heard about him through other volunteers we met who were also helping injured Gazans in Jordan. Muhammad’s case was special in that he lost both his legs as he ran outside to help his neighbors whose house had been hit by rockets. This selfless act of bravery costed him both his legs. Normally he would have died but because he is a medic he knew exactly how to stop the bleeding and managed to save his own life.’
‘Upon his return to Gaza Muhammed immediately volunteered to help in any way possible. He is now assisting Hands-On Hope to locally buy needed items for Gazans such as water heaters, medicines, large batteries so homes can have electricity. Despite of the fact that roads are poor and traveling for Muhammed is painful and exhausting he takes pride in spreading support and sustainable light by distributing Waka Waka solar lamps. Every lamps carries the name of the person receiving it, a moving gesture of Hands-On hope. The lamps have been donated thanks to the charity concert that was organized in the Netherlands by the Foundation Worldwide for Children. The circles of light are rippling out to Syria, Jordan and now also Gaza.
Gaza only has between four to six hours of electricity a day. In some instances children have burned to death because homes caught fire as a result of unattended burning candles. Kids have no light to study by. Mums have no light to cook. Some families cannot even afford candles. The Waka Waka power makes life a little lighter and easier. When there is no electricity Odai recharges his mobile phone with the Waka Waka solar lamp.’
Hands-on Hope is grateful for all the support yet continues to ask people for funding generating support for life and light for those who need it most. It is one of the many initiatives in the Middle-East where civilians come in to action to support and enlighten the lives of many. A small stone in a pebble rippling out into larger circles to keep reminding us change is at our fingertips.