The Syrian civil war left millions of children and families displaced and facing unimaginable horrors.
Ten years of conflict blighted thousands of childhoods.
And a third wave of COVID-19 cases left the country struggling with a chronic shortage of hospital beds, testing kits, water and oxygen.
Our response in Syria
With support from local partners we've:
- helped children process trauma and provided safe spaces for play
- provided one-to-one support to children who needed it most
- reunited unaccompanied children with their families
- used drawing, drama and music to help children express emotions.
how we helped Sara*
"In the future, I want to help my family and rebuild our home."
Sara, 14, was at home with her family when her street was bombed.
She emerged from the rubble of her home, temporarily blinded by chemical dust from the blast.
Her brother guided her to safety, and she now lives in a displacement camp. Sara attends our Child Friendly Space, where she feels less afraid and alone.
She likes playing goalkeeper in football matches, and says the girls' team normally beats the boys' team because she saves all the goals.
With support from local partners we were able to:
- give blankets, clothes & toiletries to families forced to flee homes
- distribute ready-to-eat meals & fresh food vouchers
- help families earn a living by supporting them with skills training
- give families cash grants to help them rebuild their lives.
With support from local partners we could:
- treat sick/injured children and supporting reproductive health
- immunised children and screen for acute malnutrition
- raised hygiene awareness in schools and communities
- support new mothers with breastfeeding and vital supplies.
When Karma* was one and a half years old she developed an intense fever. Unable to get the treatment she needed, due to the war and displacement, Karma was left with a hearing and speech impairment.
Now 6 years old, Karma struggles to communicate with her family as well as other children in the camp where she and her family live, as she cannot hear them clearly.
Her parents can’t afford to provide her with special care, which has affected Karma’s mental health as well as her appetite.
A case worker from Hurras Network, our partner, noticed that Karma was weak and not eating enough food and took the family to a nearby medical clinic, where she was diagnosed with malnutrition. To help support Karma’s family, Hurras Network has provided them with hygiene kits, malnutrition referral, one-on-one psycho-social sessions, toys and clothes.
“Playing and joy are the things that make her happy the most and she forgets about everything else. But when she’s upset, she keeps it inside and if anyone upsets her, her head starts hurting, because she doesn’t let anything out,” says Maher, Karma’s older brother.
With support from local partners we:
- ran temporary learning centres for children of all ages
- gave children books, pens and other learning essentials
- ran homework support groups and youth clubs
“We have been displaced numerous times as my father tells me. I was young and do not remember much detail. I still however remember details of our old house in the village, which I had always loved, and we were forced to flee from it as a result of the shelling hitting our hometown," says seven year old Anwar*.
When Anwar was displaced from his family home, due to the escalating violence he was forced to drop out of school. Now, he lives with his nine siblings and parents in a camp in a village in North West Syria.
Working with our partner organisation, Ihsan for Relief and Development, we have managed to get Anwar enrolled back into a school so that he can keep learning no matter what. Anwar also has access to child protection services which includes recreational activities at his school.
Anwar loves going to school and seeing his friends and teachers and is excited to keep learning.
“I love my school because I met new friends there. I love my teacher the same way I love my mother and father. I go to school everyday through a very bumpy and dangerous road and I do not move much. The furthest place I have been to is my school," says Anwar.
HOW WE RESPONDED TO CORONAVIRUS IN SYRIA?
Across northern Syria, we've helped children and families through this scary and difficult time, by:
- Distributing mobile sim cards that allow families to connect to the internet where possible and access learning materials
- Offering offer virtual classes with our partners to support home learning
- Adapting child protection activities so our teams could provide vital emotional support remotely
MORE WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
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