CWS launches Operation Refugee to help Syrians

Christian World Service invites people of all ages to join the lifeline to refugees from Syria. 

Operation Refugee is a five-day challenge to live on the same food as in an emergency food parcel.   Students can sign up for the two-day challenge.  At the same time, participants raise funds to help Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.  The national event runs from 16 – 20 June.  June 20 is World Refugee Day.

CWS is fundraising for the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees in Jordan and Lebanon with whom it has worked since 1949.  DSPR has been providing emergency food and clothing, education, medical care and education to refugees from Syria since the conflict began seven years ago. 

Once a participant has raised $87 - enough to pay for a good quality food parcel in Jordan for a family of six - CWS will send them a Food Box containing: lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, fish (which can be traded if participants are vegan or vegetarian), flour, vegetable oil and salt.  To save costs participants supply their own rice.  Participants earn fresh vegetables and other ingredients by meeting fundraising goals.

"Support for Operation Refugee is growing as people realise they can do something to help Syrians.  Last year participants raised $61,000.  Donations were matched by the New Zealand Government.  Mothers of young children were delighted to receive emergency food supplies, good quality clothing for their infants, training in small business and free medical care. Students could have extra tuition and opportunities for sports and cultural events," says Pauline McKay, National Director.

More than 5.6 million people have fled Syria and are sheltering in neighbouring countries including Jordan and Lebanon.  A further 6.1 million people are displaced inside Syria.  Of the 1.7 million school-aged children, 43% are not in school.

Occupation Refugee participants are encouraged to join a team to make the challenge more fun and meet their goals. Churches, youth groups, schools and families have found teams helped them do the challenge and raise more money.

CWS has prepared a Kete including fundraising tips and recipes devised by chef Grant Allen. 

Register and set up your personal fundraising page.  You can sponsor individual participants or donate to Operation Refugee.

"Syrians have suffered through seven years of conflict.  With your help, we can keep the lifeline going," Pauline adds.

Refugee Sunday is marked on 24 June in the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches and 1 July for Anglicans.  Materials will be available in May from the CWS website.

Join Operation Refugee:

·        Sign up to participate

·        Learn more about the campaign

·        Donate to Operation Refugee or by post to: CWS, PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8140

 CWS is a member of ACT Alliance a global coalition of 146 churches and church-related organisations working together on humanitarian, development and advocacy in over 100 countries.

For more information, please contact: Pauline McKay, National Director  Phone: 03 366 9274, Mobile: 021 289 1225