Winter is here. And children are freezing. Literally. The Syrian families who’ve fled their homes have nothing except the clothes on their backs. It’s not enough. They’ve given up jobs, warm beds, school, loving friends, security, stocked pantries and more — all to stay alive.
Here are their stories:
In Syria, Mohammed was a successful man. He owned a large family home, had an electronics shop and even owned a rental property. Mohammed, his wife and their seven children have left everything. They hitchhiked their way out of Syria to escape the conflict.
Now, Mohammed’s family—as well as five relatives—live in the middle of a potato field in a ramshackle hut made out of discarded cardboard, old rice sacks and some tarpaulin. Their floor is made of dirt and their toilet is a large hole in the ground.
Help families like this one today by donating.
Lebanon is getting colder and colder. Snow is drifting down the mountain every day. Mohammed’s shelter has no heat and the wind-chill is forceful, delivering bone-rattling shivers. Almost all of the children are wearing summer shoes—the family has no money and cannot buy winter clothing.
“We came just with our clothes, everything else is gone,” says Mohammed’s wife, Fatima, ”Now we all have the flu.”
How does their living situation in Lebanon compare to their former life in Syria? “You can’t even compare,” says Mohammed. “The difference is between the land and the sky! We’re living on the floor and can’t even afford the cheapest shoes for the children.”
“We want peace. We want the bloodshed to stop, to live like one big family again,” he adds. “We pray for peace in Syria.”
In another family’s makeshift home, three Syrian women—an aunt, mother and grandmother—are taking care of 11 children in a 13 by 13-foot space.
Benazir, a 15-year-old girl, bursts into tears thinking of the last time she saw her father, when she and her siblings were put into the cars driving to safety in Lebanon. Her father is still in Syria.
Aunt Iklaas says they keep the children’s spirits up by pretending they’re all on a long picnic. A few minutes later though, she begins to cry, saying how afraid she is without male relatives for protection. “We envy the freedom you have,” says Iklaas. “But thank you for your help. Thank you for thinking of us.”
In the middle of the night, loud noises wake the children. They kids are afraid of the dark and the noises remind them of violence and fighting back home, they all start crying. Nefratiti, a beautiful two-year-old toddler shakes uncontrollably.
The family is two months behind on their rent payments and the women are incredibly nervous they will be evicted and left homeless. But how can they pay? Where are they supposed to find the money? Marwa is 16 years old and the eldest child. Her aunt pulled her from the school she has been temporarily attending to work in the nearby fields. But because they are day labourers, Marwa and her aunt only work once every five days and it’s still not enough to pay for the rent.
This family (pictured with former World Vision Canada president, Dave Toycen) has received hygiene kits and food vouchers for their children. Two of the children are participating in a local Child Friendly Space, operated by World Vision. Babel, the family’s delightful seven-year-old loves learning the alphabet there.
Too many children are scared, cold and hungry. They miss home. Donate and show them you care. When you do, you’ll provide blankets, clothes, hygiene kits and so much more. Please help today.