More than 28,000 Palestinian refugees live in Irbid refugee camp, one of four camps established in Jordan as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The camp quickly became a new home to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees who flee their homes due to the ongoing Syrian civil war. According to the FaFo report of 2013, about 31% of Palestine refugees in Irbid camp have an income below the national poverty line. Almost 80 Jordanian schools – most of them in the poor governorates (counties) in the north – have introduced two daily school sessions to cope with the influx of Syrians that have stretched Jordan’s public resources to breaking point, including health and education. Many are beginning to grumble about the strain on their hospitals and schools. 

Dropouts and retention are on the rise between school children in Irbid camps. In addition to the socio-economic conditions that force families and children to resort to negative coping mechanisms like early marriage and mis-prioritizing work over education. Another significant challenge is the lack of introducing interpersonal and social skills to school children and refugees for the advancement of life skills and psychosocial growth.

UMR’s iFuture project aims to resolve challenges regarding education and the overall progress of the child’s social and intellectual health. UMR hopes to empower children by providing them with education, interpersonal skills, and leadership skills. UMR will use an electronic and digital platform (Electronic Library) for teaching students who each one of them will have his/her tablet to access online lessons designed by the community coaches. 

UMR designed iFuture in line with the Sustainable Development Goal.4: To ensure inclusive, equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all and the MoE strategic plan for lifelong learning and non-formal education.

The project targets 100 orphan children (50% girls and 50% boys, 30% Syrians and 70% Jordanians-Palestinians, aged 7-16) 20% of them are dropped out of schools to join the market, and 80% have poor school performance due to socio-economic conditions. Therefore, financial support will be provided to refugee families with monthly cash assistance for 12 months to accommodate school and life cost challenges. To sustain the project, UMR will link families with other financial assistance systems through its cooperation with UNHCR, UNRWA and MoSD, and INGOs in Irbid. UMR will provide children with mentors, psychosocial and awareness sessions, sports, games, and other activities to help the physical and mental development of a child.



Psychosocial Support (PSS)

UMR seeks to provide a wraparound program for children and their families who are affected by conflict. Our Psycho-Social Support (PSS) and Child-Friendly Space initiatives give refugee women and children coping mechanisms to mitigate trauma while increasing critical thinking skills among children, especially younger ones, violence reduction among peers, and greater connectivity and comfort with their host community at large. The UMR Jordan PSS team supports children by listening to them, providing them with a safe space and atmosphere to express their feelings and work through the pain, consequently, transforming their negative emotions into something productive. The PSS project also emphasizes the importance of strengthening their social environment, which has a great effect on the beneficiaries’ psychological health and development on various levels; with the family, community, and the beneficiaries themselves.

The UMR Jordan PSS team has also adopted “We Love Reading”- an informal education curriculum designed for children who have experienced education disruption due to conflict. Refugees who do attend regular schooling are often victims of bullying which increases social isolation and can exacerbate mental trauma. “We Love Reading” is designed to teach young children literacy skills, introduce critical thinking through play therapy, and cultivate an early thirst for education that can carry forward when formal schooling options become available.

The program also provides awareness sessions, for topics such as sexual harassment, bullying, hygiene, emotional intelligence-EI, ethics, counseling, and psychotherapy sessions (PTSD, and Psychiatric Disturbance) in order to help them cope with their environment and society.

UMR Jordan initially:

  1. Assesses the social, financial, mental and physical health condition of a family; women and children (age 6-18), through house visits
  2. Studies and evaluates the situation of children and women according to their age, social, mental, and emotional needs, in addition to their social environment statuses, for the enrollment of UMR’s specialized PSS programs
  3. Builds up the entire program that properly fits their needs. It is usually divided into 4-6 awareness and counseling sessions and at least 12 sessions for psychotherapy

This is an ongoing program. Since its inception in 2016, 104 teenagers 13-18 years old, have attended the PSS activities designed to help them positively express their emotions, cultivate positive parent-child relations, find productive hobbies, and reduction of physical and emotional aggression towards themselves and others.

694 children between 5 and 12 years old attended PSS activities and been engaged in play therapy designed to help them express their feelings and build their self-esteem. They also discover appropriate behaviors when interfacing with parents, siblings, teachers, and elderly people to rebuild communal connections often lost to refugees.

Cataract Missions: Vision 2020

UMR successfully conducted over 1,000 cataract surgeries. Help us reach 5,000 new patients by the end of 2020

Key Facts & Figures:

  • Cataract accounts for 30%-50% of blindness in most African and Asian countries.
  • Every dollar spent towards eliminating blindness and correcting vision in developing countries returns a four-fold on investment in economic terms. This places eliminating avoidable blindness among the most effective interventions available.
  • Cataract surgeries are some of the most impactful on a person’s quality of life and require no follow up visits to a doctor.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO) cataract is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment worldwide, accounting for nearly 20 million cases with nearly 5 million new cases each year. The majority of people with cataracts are found in the developing world due to a lack of access to adequate healthcare facilities or, more often, a lack of ability to afford this low-cost surgery. Most treated cases need as little as 15 minutes, and even though cataract operations have virtually no recovery time, the number of people with preventable blindness continues to grow.

UMR is putting extraordinary effort to reverse this alarming trend through its Vision 2020 campaign

Since 2016, UMR has been sending medical missions to places like Kenya, Jordan, and Bangladesh to perform cataract surgeries on patients in need. UMR has helped to restore the gift of sight to curable blind cases by providing quality medical care services to some of the most underprivileged including the elderly, disabled, refugees and vulnerable people in the community, many of whom live without any support from their relatives and governments. Under this initiative, in coordination with partner NGOs and Ministries of Health, over 1,000 cataract surgeries have been successfully performed free of cost to date thanks to our generous donors. Our surgeries have been 100% successful with no recurring complications, and cost as little as $100 per eye.

I want to thank all of you for donating to this campaign as I have been blind for 6 years. My right eye was damaged by a rock when I was digging a well and now my only eye that was working has been slowly losing sight from cataracts… Soloman (70 years old)

Project Objective:

To restore eyesight to 5,000 people in Jordan and Kenya with cataract by the end of 2020. In addition to cataract surgery, UMR will provide eye exams, glasses and other rehabilitation needed for refugees and others who cannot afford the cost of these medical care services and procedures.

Our Impact:

Treatment of preventable blindness, like cataract and low vision, is one of the most effective ways to lift people out of poverty, especially for vulnerable communities like refugees living in makeshift environments. They regain their independence and confidence to approach economic opportunities and education. UMR and partners have restored eyesight to people who thought they would never be able to see again. We need to continue this work. There are thousands of people out there in great need of hope, and a chance to see again.

MENA Youth in Humanitarian Action

MENA Youth in Humanitarian Action is a coalition of nonprofit organizations active in the United Nations. Young people are chosen to participate through a rigorous application process and undergo a three-day training on what it means to engage with philanthropy. Post training, students carry out service projects either through a nonprofit organization or in their host community.

The MENA Youth in Humanitarian Action operates with the aim to:

  • Foster an inclusive and participatory space for young people
  • Link humanitarian action to emerging concepts like social innovation
  • Provide young people with an international platform to share their experiences with volunteerism

Wehdat Disability Center

The primary objective of the Wehdat Disability Center is to train and rehabilitate male and female Palestinian refugee youth with disabilities in Amman, Jordan on a number of skills (self-care, cognitive, social, academic, vocational training) to integrate them into society and empower them to be able to support themselves in their daily life and also find some jobs. The Wehdat Disability Center serves 107 people and the waiting list has exceeded 330.

The mission of the Center is to foster independence and self-reliance for people with minor to moderate disabilities. Services provided for Al-Hajah’s clients include academic and vocational support to allow for economic integration into their host country of Jordan and workshops on development of social and life skills to increase self-sufficiency.

Applicants to the program undergo a rigorous process that includes an interview, home visit, and physical assessment. Based on assessment results, clients are presented with a work plan and curriculum tailored to their individual needs through wraparound service in: non-formal education, skills building workshops on self-sufficiency and self-care, physiotherapy, nursing. Meals, and transportation from the client’s home to site of service are also included. UMR will focus on vocational training, skills building workshops, and non-formal education.

Vocational workshops include: handcrafts, weaving, cleaning, and carpentry

Life skills workshops include: hygiene, setting a routine, cooking, and ironing

Lebanon Back to School

Back to School

What Would Your Children Do IF THEY WERE NOT IN SCHOOL?

Whether it be due to poverty, war, or displacement, thousands of children in Jordan, Kenya, & Lebanon are unable to attend to school. What most people don’t realize is that when children are deprived of education, oftentimes they are forced into child labor or child marriage. The UN says 180,000 refugee children living in Lebanon are forgoing an education to work long hours for as little as $2/day.

Many children in the refugee camps lack even the most basic school supplies. Parents, having limited funds, are faced with a predicament- putting food on the table or supplying pencils to write with. Hunger, almost always, takes precedence.

UMR’s annual Back to School Campaign aims to reduce the chances that children are left out of schools.

How You Can Help

When the opportunity of education is taken away, usually the chance of a successful future disappears along with it. It is time that we start recognizing education as a right, not a privilege.

With your generous donations, UMR provides children in Jordan, Kenya, & Lebanon with a backpack filled with school supplies such as pencils, crayons, rulers, and erasers.

Give a child a chance to hope, learn, and dream. One backpack can bring a child closer to achieving their goals, regardless of where life has taken them.

Don’t let another child get left behind.


Syrian Refugee Medical Missions (Jordan)

Working with our field office in Jordan we have sent a number of medical shipments to assist Syrian refugees. As well as sending medicine to tackle chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, we supply essential medical supplies including syringes, aluminum canes, crutches, hip arthroscopy kits, oxygen masks and surgical packs.

In coordination with our partners, UMR also conducts cataract surgeries in Jordan. Each mission involves highly qualified and experienced doctors from the US who worked with their counterparts at Shami Eye Center, Amman and conduct surgeries.The Save Syria Medical Mission, implemented in conjunction with IMANA, is an ongoing project that brings volunteer doctors to provide low-cost primary and acute care to refugees of all nationalities that reside in Jordan.Services are provided in the Zarqa and Mafraq governates of Jordan. In 2018, UMR and IMANA provided health consultancies and primary health services to 6,500 patients primarily from Syrian and Palestinian refugee backgrounds.

Income Generating Farming (Jordan)

UMR – Jordan implemented a project of breeding goats and poultry in the Al-Sahab area, the location was very suitable as the land there is fertile for animal breed. 10 targeted poor families benefited from a herd of 60 female goats and 2 male goats along with 100 poultry with 10 Roosters. Each family got 6 female goats, 10 poultry and 1 Rooster. The project has contributed to improving the monthly income of the poorest families from both Syrian Refugees and host Communities.

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