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Syrian Refugees to get Essential Needs Assistance

Syrian refugees arriving in Metropolitan Detroit will get vital assistance with food, baby supplies, and household goods from Zaman International, which has launched a major donation drive in response to this population’s urgent need.

Zaman is working quickly to assemble and distribute “essential needs boxes” containing kitchen, bathroom and bedroom supplies, culturally sensitive food, and infant care items that will help displaced Syrian families get settled in their new homes. The organization is requesting help from the public, either through monetary donations to cover the cost of the boxes or through the donation of the specific items they contain.

Zaman is one of several Southeast Michigan organizations working to provide Syrian refugees with resettlement aid, which encompasses food, housing, clothing, medical care, transportation, school enrollment and supplies, and legal and psychological counseling. Zaman’s extensive crisis assistance programming and infrastructure make it uniquely qualified to handle the provision of essential needs. Specifically, the organization will draw on the experienced staff and volunteers of its Bayt Al-Zahra Urgent Needs Program, which annually provides food, clothing, and other essential needs to tens of thousands of Southeast Michigan residents.

According to Zaman Founder and CEO Najah Bazzy, the essential needs drive for Syrian refugees represents a return to the organization’s earliest work.

“Zaman’s roots are in refugee assistance,” Bazzy said. “Twenty years ago, it was the plight of a single, harrowingly poor refugee family that motivated us to confront and alleviate the unacceptable conditions in which our region’s least advantaged were living. Refugees were, and continue to be, a significant group of clients we serve.”

One of the world’s most vulnerable populations, refugees experience both physical and psychological harm as a result of war and displacement.  Malnutrition, injury, disease, lack of prenatal care or care for chronic health conditions, sexual assault and torture, and exposure to agents of war require immediate treatment, as do psychological stressors such as grief, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress. The provision of essential needs does much to alleviate their condition.

“The uncertainty refugees experience in a new land contributes to a sense of helplessness and despair,” Bazzy said. “As our Bayt Al-Zahra program proves time and again, knowing that daily needs such as food, furnishings and hygiene will be met removes a significant burden from refugees and allows them to marshal physical and mental resources for the larger tasks of self-reliance, work procurement and assimilation.”

To view a description of the contents of Zaman’s essential needs boxes click here. Individuals wishing to contribute can make an online monetary donation to cover the cost of one or more boxes or shop for the items in each box and drop them off at the Zaman International Hope for Humanity Center at 26091 Trowbridge in Inkster.  More information is available online and from Zaman Administrator Gail Zion at or at (313) 551-3994.

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