‘They may not be able to cross our borders, but we can still cross their borders and bring them hope … when the world goes to war, World Help goes to work.’ — Vernon Brewer
FOREST, Va. — During the political tug of war over President Trump’s orders on refugee resettlement and immigration, World Help President and Founder Vernon Brewer recently returned to the Jordan-Syria border to deliver life-saving aid and relief to Syrian refugees.
“While national and world leaders debate refugee policy, we decided the best thing we could do is to return to the region we have been working in and continue helping people,” said Vernon Brewer. “We cannot forget the individual faces and stories of those affected by violence, war and persecution. They may not be able to cross our borders, but we can still cross their borders and bring them hope.”
Brewer visited refugee camps in northern Jordan — including the Za’atari camp, which alone houses more than 80,000 Syrian refugees. He also delivered food, clothes, space heaters, and blankets to a remote camp alongside the border where 83 Syrian refugee families have settled. For nursing mothers and infants, he distributed diapers and baby formula.
“Many of these refugees are living in below-freezing temperatures in tents and temporary shelters with poor insulation. Many of the children don’t have coats; the mothers don’t have blankets to keep their babies warm; there’s not enough food or clean water to go around. Some days 35 mph winds cut through the tarp lining the tents, and the freezing winter air makes everyone inside shiver,” Brewer said. “They desperately need our help. People are dying from starvation and exposure.”
Brewer also visited a World Help-sponsored clinic that offers free medical services to more than 100 refugees daily. At the clinic, he met with doctors and nurses and assessed the clinic’s needs to continue serving refugees.
An important part of this trip was listening to and collecting stories of Syrian refugee families. Brewer took to social media to share From the Field video accounts of refugees who fled for their lives and abandoned everything they owned. One Syrian man lost 26 family members to violence in the span of a month. Another refugee told Brewer he came from a village outside Damascus where 13,000 people were killed.
Brewer also shared the poignant story of a family who has been forced to rummage through the garbage for stale bread to sell as food for livestock.
“Listening to these stories breaks my heart. We have work to do. Lives are at stake. This is why when the world goes to war, World Help goes to work,” Brewer concluded.
On his return from the Middle East, the World Help president held a conference call to give an up-to-the-minute report on the conditions of the refugee camps he visited and the stories he collected. This 15-minute report is available here.
World Help is currently raising $60,000 to provide medicine and medical supplies for a medical clinic that serves refugees near the Syrian border. Donations can be sent through worldhelp.net/refugees or by calling 800-541-6691.
World Help has been actively working with Syrian refugees since the conflict started in 2011. In the neighboring countries of Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, and Greece, the organization helps refugees by providing shelter, food, and medical aid, among other humanitarian aid services.