May 2017

May was started with a trip to Amman, Jordan.  Impact Middle East (IME) invited us to come and consult on products, distribution and business development for their handicraft projects.  Christina Gruenberg and I met IME Director, Dale Woods and Marka Free Methodist Church pastor, Haytham, in Amman.

We spent three full days doing research, developing relationships, and evaluating businesses. This included hearing stories, learning about the culture, and meeting many refugees. We met with the local leaders to discuss their key needs, overview their inventory, work on product development and a strategy for moving forward.

Their primary need is to have a robust and thriving economic ‘arm’ that can help move the products they make. Their goal is to employ as many refugees as possible, since they are not able to be legally employed in Jordan. A secondary need is to focus on developing new products that will broaden their market with the hopes to hire many more and provide an ongoing income for their families. 

One of the most eye-opening experiences were the visits to Syrian refugee families. Each story was different but they all have a common hope for their lives: to one day return to Syria – to go home.  It is hard to understand the conflict, displacement and pain.  Pastor Haytham says that our job is to LOVE each other!  Let’s show love in the ways we are able.  More to come as we develop this project!

You can learn more about the project and purchase their items here.

Changing Lives together!

 

Kathy Gaulton