A new clothing boutique has recently opened in Amman, Jordan with a unique mission, to serve Christian refugees from Syria. Offering second-hand clothes for free, the shop was set up by the charity Open Doors
“Just like in a real boutique they can come here to shop, to choose the clothes they really like, to try them on and to shop with dignity,” said Lara, who works in the boutique. “This is a safe place for them where they can shop, have a good time and feel like a normal member of society again.’
The refugees do not buy the clothes but exchange them for coupons that they are given based on their situation and family size.”
Most refugees in Jordan are hoping to go elsewhere, but the process can take years. While in Jordan, refugees are not allowed to work or legally earn money. This leaves them in a difficult situation, unable to meet their needs through their own effort and robbing them of their dignity. Open Doors, through this small gesture, hopes to help restore some of that dignity offering clean clothing in good shape in a setting reminiscent of any other clothing boutique. The clothes come from donations by Jordanians and are cleaned prior to being put on offer in the store.
“Often when people donate clothes to refugees they give them in big bin bags,” said Lara. “They are unwashed, stained or damaged. For many Iraqi refugees, having fled from good families and good situations, that is a shameful situation. They find it hard to accept the clothes that way.
That’s why the boutique is important. This way, we can help to restore the dignity that was taken from them.”
Open Doors has launched Hope for the Middle East, a seven year campaign uniting the global church to ensure every person in the Middle East, no matter what their faith, has a home, a future and a voice. As part of this, Open Doors is asking people to sign the One Million Voices of Hope petition, which will be presented to the UN on December 11, 2017.