On this Jewish holiday we choose to dwell in temporary shelters, read how a few of OLAM’s coalition partners are envisioning their roles – and yours – in changing the world through fighting homelessness and displacement by providing shelter and relief in the year ahead.
“Over 12000 families on the island of Majuli have lost their homes and are displaced by river erosion and floods. For the local community, the loss of their houses, lands and agri-based livelihoods means the loss of security and also of their source of pride and identity.
This year we have started a project called the ‘Common Loom.’ The goal of this project is to provide the weavers with a high tech loom made from local materials, and a work space on high land which is protected from floods and erosion. During the floods season, weavers whose houses were flooded are able to continue support their families throughout this hard period. This upcoming year our goal is to expand the project to five more villages.”
“On Sukkot, as we recognize our own fragility and impermanence of shelter, we also think about the 65 million refugees and displaced people still wandering the earth in search of a secure place to call home. Just as we invite our ancestors to take a place of honor in our sukkah this year, let us also invite in the stories of these refugees. Until they find adequate shelter, they are unable to experience the stability necessary to hold proper jobs, help their children catch up on their education, and recover from the trauma they have endured.
We work with refugees in 12 countries in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America, as well as in the United States, to help them rebuild their lives in safety. Rawan, the 4-year old boy pictured above, is one of thousands of Syrian children living in flux in a refugee camp in Iraq as he waits the opportunity to resume his childhood in a new permanent home. Click here to read Rawan’s full story and to explore the stories and photos of other refugees across the globe.”
“We are working with 25,000 villagers in remote areas that were devastated by the 2015 Nepal Earthquake. In the past year, we distributed temporary housing kits to over 4000 families to ensure that they would have safe and sturdy housing until they are able to rebuild their permanent homes. In the coming year we will run programs to help villagers significantly increase their income through better agricultural techniques and inputs. These profits can then be used to help them rebuild their permanent homes, supplementing the grants they will get through bilateral aid.
One way we are embracing Sukkot is through our Prayer Flags for the Homeless. Each set of includes a colorful string of flags printed with the word ‘Shalom’ and with a unique Jewish prayer for the homeless. Hanging in our sukkot these send a Jewish message of solidarity to the homeless in Nepal and worldwide.”