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מרכז לקהילה האפריקאית בירושלים

Director's Note - June 2020

Dear Friends and Supporters,

I hope this email finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy.

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the lives of the asylum seekers in Jerusalem. From people who were just scraping by, they have now become people who cannot pay rent, medical insurance, or buy food. The humanitarian crisis is of immense proportions and unfortunately it will not improve soon. When breadwinners in the community eventually start going back to work, they will have to deal with large outstanding debts for rent, electricity, water and medical insurance. It will take many months until they will need less help from JACC.

Since this crisis began, JACC has put all its energies into meeting the most urgent needs of the asylum seeker community. Our Emergency Aid Fund has raised over 345,000ILS in donations from individual donors and foundations. We have also received over 200,000ILS worth of dry food and 100,000ILS of prepared meals, as well as hundreds of packages of fresh fruit and vegetables, from the Jerusalem municipality and other generous organizations. Additionally, we have secured funding for two new temporary staff members to assist us over the next couple of months as we continue to meet the day-to-day needs of the community. Thanks to help from supporters like you, we have so far been able to provide the community with food and a small amount of money for their basic needs.

Unfortunately, we now find ourselves in a precarious position. This unforeseen crisis has required us to focus all our attention on immediate aid and even divert program funds to cover food and medical aid expenses. As a result, we do not have enough funds for JACC to keep on working until the end of the year.

The thought of closing the only organization serving the asylum seeker community in Jerusalem is too awful to comprehend. Knowing how difficult it is to raise money at the moment, we were in a very dark place until we were offered a lifeline. A family trust in Israel is prepared to give us 100,000ILS on the condition that we raise a matching amount.

I hope you will read our staff updates below and be inspired by the work our team is doing everyday to ensure the safety and health of Jerusalem’s asylum seeker community. The JACC community is turning to you, our loyal friends and supporters, to help us keep our doors open. Please consider donating here to help us reach our 100,000ILS goal. Any amount big or small will be much appreciated.

Stay safe.

Best Wishes,

Josie Mendelson

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