For a chance at a future
It was three years ago that Shamsa, without many of her belongings, was forced to flee Syria. Along with her husband and children, she left the only home she ever knew. And to make matters worse, Shamsa must now survive on her own. Her husband abandoned the family two years after arriving in Lebanon.
With an uncertain future and poor living conditions, all that Shamsa cares about now is her seven children.
“Ever since my husband left us, I have no one; it’s only me and my children,” she says as sadness envelops each word. “I am trying my best to be able to provide for my children. I am working any job I can find – cleaning houses, land work and whatever else I can find,” she adds.
Before arriving in Lebanon, Shamsa and her family witnessed horrible situations in Syria which, to this day, leave them distressed. “My son Abdallah saw a man being killed with his own eyes, and this affected his mental state. He is almost always afraid of something bad happening,” Shamsa explains. “He is having a difficult time learning or even making friends. But now, thanks to World Vision’s program, I can sense Abdallah’s progress,” she adds.
The impact of an education
Since arriving in Lebanon, of the seven children, Abdallah, 13, and his siblings Kawthar, 10, Abdul, 8, Abed, 7, and Hussein, 4, have all benefited from World Vision’s Early Childhood Education program for children under six-years-old (ECE), and from the Psychosocial Support (PSS) program for children six to twelve years old.
“I learned a lot of new things that I was not aware of before such as the safe places to play in, my rights and other topics,” says Abdallah about the PSS sessions he takes part in. “I really like the program; we play games and do some colouring. I even made new friends. When I grow up, I want to work with World Vision and help other children who went through similar [experiences],” he adds with a smile on his face.
Abdallah and his siblings congregate outside of their home. All of them have benefitted from World Vision’s Early Childhood Education centre in Lebanon. Photo: George Mghames
Shamsa is also able to attend capacity-building sessions where she hears about positive parenting topics including child protection, the importance of education, and child labour and early marriage.
Abdallah is now enrolled in a school. He’s starting late for his age, since he was not able to enroll in a school in Lebanon before.
“I have noticed that he is able to learn now. I just want my children to have a proper education because from my experience, education is the key for their future,” says Shamsa. “All I care about now is my children, so thank you World Vision for helping my family when I am unable to do it alone,” she adds.
Abdallah and his mother Shamsa share a moment at their home in Lebanon. Photo: George Mghames