Faithful Covenant Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2014. The purpose of Faithful Covenant Foundation is to provide food and basic needs to extremely destitute families who do not otherwise have the means to help themselves. This effort is done primarily through emergency food and relief to the disadvantaged and vulnerable on both a national and global level. In committing to this humanitarian endeavor, our desire is to improve the quality of life of those families most in need.
Faithful Covenant Foundation seeks to recognize and address the following issues through our international refugee aid efforts: 1) Community development: Food security, economic development, primary health, and basic education, and 2) Social injustice and deprivation: Improve the quality of life of those in need.
We wish to expand our assistance efforts to our refugee recipients in Jordan. If we can also expand to include more refugees in our assistance, that would be ideal. Our focus is to provide aid on a monthly or bi-monthly basis as well as distribute emergency funds when needed to those who receive no consistent monthly food or support.
Our mission is our covenant to heal the world and our foundation is based on responsibility and duty to serve, heal, and to be a voice to those that cannot speak for themselves.
Faithful Covenant Foundation was founded in 2014 to improve the quality of life of those in desperate need by providing emergency food and aid. Our accomplishments include providing food, health, and nutrition guidance to hundreds of families each year in California and Jordan. Those who have received assistance are at-risk families including: homeless, single parents, elderly, children, sick, refugees, and disabled persons. Our efforts in Jordan also include asylum families from Syria, Iraq, and Sudan. Most have two or three families living together in one household. These are also multigenerational families experiencing disease, illness, or disability. All are experiencing oppression and are either at-risk or below the local poverty level.
Joanne Liang, Director of Refugee Coordination, has implemented programs since 2013, both independently and through collaboration with other organizations. She lived in Jordan from 2009 to 2015, and has built many relationships with local Jordanians and refugee families. She knows the culture, the people, their habits, and their needs. While living there, she and her family witnessed the shock and suffering from the first waves of refugee arrivals into Jordan. Joanne has been privy to intimate and disturbing accounts of families and she has been observing and measuring the devastating long-term effects of the refugee crisis. Now with COVID-19, reports are coming in that people are in their homes with little to no food at all. There are emergency needs everywhere amongst the refugees as the entire nation is on lockdown. When this lifts, they are going to be desperate.
We serve the following geographic areas:
- California – San Bernardino County, Riverside County, and San Diego County, USA
- Jordan: Mafrag, Hashemi, Amman, Fuhays, and Aqaba
Our efforts are also coordinated in collaboration with Yucaipa Health Coalition, Hebrew Conservative Union, and Immanuel Family Resource Center.
We provide assistance to families regardless of sex, age, religion, or nationality. Discrimination is not allowed in our relief efforts.
Refugees International has stated, “Jordan hosts more than 750,000 registered refugees. The vast majority are from Syria, but Jordan also hosts tens of thousands of refugees from other countries, including Iraq, Yemen, and Sudan, and many more who are not registered.” Legal employment is inaccessible for 97% of the refugees. Only 3% of the refugees are granted work visas each year. After having fled war or persecution in their homeland, they find themselves trapped in an impossible situation where the ability to take care of basic needs is nearly impossible due to government restrictions. Most have experienced violence, war, prison, torture, and persecution. Many have lost family members. All have loss of homes and livelihood. Extended families are broken up and scattered with some remaining behind or others immigrating to other countries.
NGOs and organizations cannot develop and maintain sustainable projects to generate new employment opportunities for this sector since refugees are not allowed to work. Skill development is only effective if it can be used to earn a living. However, it is illegal. Learning without opportunity to use the skills developed is a fruitless endeavor. It is wasted resources for any NGO attempting to aid these refugees in this manner until the government allows more of them to work. Training programs would not benefit them until and unless they receive immigration. The majority have been waiting over nine years. They have been “on hold” with no hope of repatriation and little hope of immigration.
Our mission is important, especially in Jordan, where the refugee families do not have the ability or means to create a better life until they are granted immigration. Without hope, they barely survive. Our role is to build long-term empowering relationships with the families with the goal of sustaining their hope for improved conditions of their current situation. More than 50% are not receiving any assistance or food. Poor nutrition exacerbates their health issues. Psychological trauma is rampant with PTSD and depression the most common. The never-ending trauma they are enduring after having left severe war and persecution only exacerbates their challenges. Lack of social programs, poor quality of life, continued suffering, and extreme poverty have created a near permanent state of trauma for them.
We have carried out this work with a modest budget and have helped around 100 families in the past. The mission is important because we have the potential of multiplying the amount of aid to many more families and distributing aid more often as our donor base and grant funding increases. This work will be ongoing for many years to come to these destitute families.
In Jordan, the UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency) is the primary organization with a large presence that gives an Identification Document to a designated percentage of the neediest families. For example, in November 2019, the UNHCR started the process of distributing “one-off winter cash assistance” for refugees across the country of Jordan. The average amount of cash varied from USD $260 for a single person ($66 per month) to USD $440 for a family of 7 ($110 per month) over a 4 month period. The UNHCR Jordan press release in November 2019 stated that approximately 455,000 refugees will try to be reached with the aid. The May 2019 UNHCR Fact Sheet states there are approximately 775,050 refugees in Jordan. There are 320,050 refugees not reached with this “one-off winter cash assistance” program.
Organizations like Emirates Red Crescent have done winter campaigns to provide blankets and heaters. Caritas Jordan works on behalf of the poor and vulnerable, mostly with medical assistance. Care International helps with a one time $200 cash for families upon their arrival. Some chronically ill patients get monthly help with their medication from UNHCR. Those who have been accepted as eligible for physical disabilities get monthly rent of $180 from UNHCR. It is reported by some who are members of different churches that they get cash assistance from different church programs ranging from $30 to $35 on a quarterly basis. The World Food Program USA gave their statistics for 2018 that they fed 500,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan. The report did not say how much each family was given nor how often and other refugee nationalities were not included in the distribution.
In Jordan, there are international and national NGOs, community-based organizations and small charitable organizations like ours that give aid intermittently; however, when we interview the many refugee families that we have personal contact with, they say there have been very few times over the last several years that they received relief aid. At times, families go for days with low or no food supplies. They often have their electricity shut off for lack of payment. If they can’t pay their rent, they move in with others until they can get another place again.
In Jordan, we maintain records of families with names, ages, addresses, phone numbers, history, copies of U.N. papers and, when available, medical records. We interview each family at least twice a year and our on-the-ground volunteers visit each family periodically to check up on their status. Refugee families report that they do not have any kind of consistent relief aid distributed to them. There are no ongoing social programs of any kind. There are no welfare systems in place, no food banks, no free and reduced priced meals, no food distribution centers, no soup kitchens, no free counseling, no free medical or free clinics, no free dental, no emergency shelters, no free adult or child daycare and only 3% legal employment. The refugee camps only hold a small number of families and therefore 84% of families live outside of the camps. There are organizations that give food vouchers and/or relief aid sporadically, but there are no ongoing programs that give monthly assistance to the majority of refugees.
In Jordan, we distribute food vouchers to refugee families who have no means of helping themselves. Our goals are to distribute not only food vouchers but also vitamins for improved nutrition. Additionally, as funds increase, we aim to provide emergency medical and dental care. Primary activities of the program for refugee aid consists of ongoing fundraising through emails, letters, and phone calls to private donors and through presentations to churches and organizations in America with the goal of taking collected funds to refugees in Jordan and distributing them primarily in food vouchers.
Every four to six months, we travel from California to Jordan to personally assess the families and distribute food vouchers, relief aid, counseling, and encourage them on healthy eating habits, diet, and nutrition. Throughout the year, as emergency situations arise, needs are met by staff in Jordan who are able to receive the funds from our fundraising efforts. The ability to send funds fluctuates from our fundraising results and reserve funding availability.
Our program documents the refugees that we serve in order to effectively develop relationships, specify needs, and monitor progress. This includes weekly progress reports to identify changes in needs, including immigration status changes. We also track new illnesses, if they have received aid from other organizations, if new families have been referred, or if U.N. papers need updating. Food vouchers are then provided to those in greatest need. The amount is calculated by the number of family members, including attention to those who are disabled. Food vouchers come in increments of 25JD ($35), 50JD ($71) and 100JD ($141.00). The vouchers are purchased from local markets. Emergency distribution is determined on a case by case basis.
The average family of 5.3 members can minimally survive on $200 per month for food. There is no organization in Jordan distributing anything close to this amount on any consistent basis. The average apartment costs $210 per month. Based on these figures, the only way to survive is for three or more families to live together, pool their resources, and seek part-time temporary illegal jobs to make ends meet. Many are in debt to their landlords and find themselves with low supplies of food on a regular basis. Our goal is to supply them with enough ongoing support so they can get some kind of respite from a cycle of vulnerability and powerlessness, and help them establish some stability and improve their quality of life.
Reports collected by Faithful Covenant Foundation of the refugees’ debilitating circumstances are found to be profoundly compelling. Our program of distributing coupon vouchers and emergency aid serve many whose instability and desperate needs are so evident. We currently serve 100 families and would like to expand our efforts to assist 300 families.