Hygiene Kits Leaving Port of Elizabeth


August 19, 2016

Supplies for Syrian refugees in Turkey to leave N.J. this weekend!

A container with 15,000 hygiene kits containing shampoo, combs and towels will be leaving the Elizabeth port this weekend bound for Turkey to help Syrian refugees there.The shipment is a project of a coalition of nearly 70 faith based and humanitarian organizations that have organized to address the Syrian refugee crisis. The kits were loaded on a ship to Turkey on World Humanitarian Day, which is commemorated on Friday and is an annual reminder of the need to help the suffering. The kits are expected to arrive at their destination in about six weeks.

“These are items we take for granted, but if you are a refugee living in a place that doesn’t have anything, you don’t even have a comb or a nail clipper, and this is essential for them,’’ said Rabbi Eric J. Greenberg, director, outreach communications, programs and Multifaith Relations for the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, the lead organizer.  “Hygiene as the United Nations and other world health organizations will tell you, to maintain grooming and hygiene is basic to maintaining their health.”Greenberg said more than 800 volunteers gathered at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York in June to assemble the hygiene kits and the volunteers included Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists.Among those who helped with the assembling of the kits was Harjot Kaur, community development manager for The Sikh Coalition based in New York and a Hudson County resident.  She said at least 50 Sikhs from New York and New Jersey participated in the assembling event including members of the Glen Rock Sikh temple.“We had kids of all ages, we had parents and grandparents,’’ she said. “We had every single age that we could.”She said some of the Sikh volunteers could relate to the plight of the Syrian refugees.“They are extremely troubled by what is happening in the Middle East and the refugee crisis all over,’’ she said. “We were, a lot of our families were refugees who came over to America and faced a lot of similar troubles… this particular event was something that hit home for a lot of families as well.”The coalition teamed up with Heart to Heart International and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, a global Jewish humanitarian group, to ship the kits.

“We are extremely grateful for the support from all the partners, volunteers and sponsors who made this shipment possible,” said Jim Mitchum, chief executive officer for Heart to Heart International in a statement.

The hygiene kits will be distributed to refugees by MFA’s international partner, Orient for Human Relief.

Multi-Faith Alliance Bulletin
August 22, 2016

The scene at the Port of Elizabeth last Friday was the perfect backdrop to World Humanitarian Day. Containers filled with emergency hygiene kits for Syrian refugees were being loaded onto a ship bound for Turkey, where they will be distributed by the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA) partner, Orient for Human Relief.This was the culmination of a successful collaboration by MFA, JDC, Heart to Heart International (HHI) — all MFA participating organizations — and 800 volunteers from all faiths and communities who stood shoulder to shoulder on June 26 to assemble 7,500 of the 15,000 kits being shipped. The kits are filled with desperately needed supplies for Syrian war victims, which will help them maintain basic hygiene, and prevent the spread of disease.Syria’s civil war has created the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. Half the country’s pre-war population — more than 11 million people — have been forced to flee their homes. Between four and five hundred thousand people have been killed. Families are struggling to survive inside Syria or as they seek to make new homes in neighboring countries. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has registered nearly 5 million Syrians who have fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Hundreds of thousands more are unregistered. Over 6.5 million are internally displaced within Syria.MFA, JDC and HHI were proud to have been part of this effort. The Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, a project of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, is committed to mobilizing global multifaith support to alleviate suffering, heightening awareness to the growing dangers of complacency, and fostering vital people-to-people engagement to advance future stability in the region.

The Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA), a project of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding in cooperation with JDC, is a coalition of more than 60 faith-based and secular organizations. Our mission is to mobilize global support to alleviate the Syrian humanitarian crisis, heighten awareness of the growing dangers of complacency, and advance future stability in the region. MFA conducts crisis-related briefings in the U.S. and abroad, facilitates relationships between complementary partner organizations working to help Syrian war victims, and nurtures transformative people-to-people diplomacy in the region.