Missionaries travel to Syrian border to spread aid collected in South Tyneside

A team of workers have spoken of their experiences after they returned to the North East from a mission to help people fleeing war as they sought sanctuary the Syrian border.

Refugee Aid Network (RAN) sent four men to Almayra in Jordan to help distribute £10,000 in aid after it was raised in the North East, with more than half of that collected in South Tyneside and Sunderland.

Shah Lalon Amin with children at one of the camps near the Syrian border in Jordan.

Shah Lalon Amin with children at one of the camps near the Syrian border in Jordan.

The group helped cover medical costs, pay rent for widows facing eviction and school fees, offered essential toiletries, handed out food packages and gifted toys and sweets to children.

Their expedition was made in partnership with Middlesbrough charity One Ummah and they hope their work will pave the way for further visits, sending out more aid and strengthening the links made during their trip.

The team brought together Lalon Amin, 36, a business development worker from South Shields and chairman of RAN, Sunderland men Monir Ahmed, 24, a community co-ordinator based at Sunderland International Bangladesh Centre in Hendon, and call centre worker Taz Maqsood, 37, and Monju Meha, 29, from Newcastle.

They were only allowed to visit the camps during daylight and could hear gun and mortar fire over the border 9k away during the night.

It was a heartbreaking experience and very humbling, to see the suffering.

Lalon Amin

Lalon said: “It was a heartbreaking experience and very humbling, to see the suffering.

“Children are depended on even the basics and there are hundreds of them in these camps.

“Some of them were even born in the camps, all because of this war.”

Details about how to help can be found via the RAN Facebook page.

From fourth right, Monir Ahmed, Taz Maqsood, Shah Lalon Amin and Monju Meha with other volunteers during their visit to Jordan.

From fourth right, Monir Ahmed, Taz Maqsood, Shah Lalon Amin and Monju Meha with other volunteers during their visit to Jordan.

The volunteers during their visit to Jordan to help refugees fleeing Syria.

The volunteers during their visit to Jordan to help refugees fleeing Syria.

A scene at one of the camps on the Jordan and Syria border during the visit by Refugee Aid Network.

A scene at one of the camps on the Jordan and Syria border during the visit by Refugee Aid Network.

Monir Ahmed, Shah Lalon Amin, Monju Meha and Taz Maqsood during their expedition to Jordan for Refugee Aid Network.

Monir Ahmed, Shah Lalon Amin, Monju Meha and Taz Maqsood during their expedition to Jordan for Refugee Aid Network.

Aid is handed out to refugees during a visit by Refugee Aid Network.

Aid is handed out to refugees during a visit by Refugee Aid Network.