“I used to work in a well-known bank and my husband was a lawyer. We are from a city in Syria where violent fighting and attacks forced us to move with our 3-year-old son soon after the beginning of the war. We lived with my family in the countryside for a while, and then rented houses from one village to another.
For one year and a half we had absolutely no income. My husband and I both lost our jobs, and our house was completely destroyed. We were living on our savings, which eventually would come to an end.
It was the most terrible time in my life. I felt so desperate to have lost all my life, all my memories and I was still very traumatized by what I had witnessed. Many times I lost all hope. For a long time I was not even able to cry.
My life completely changed when I started working at FMEEC (Fellowship of the Middle East Evangelical Churches, MERATH’s partner in Syria). As the local coordinator for food aid, I get to make a lot of phone calls and home visits. The families I meet are so very grateful for the food baskets. It can look like nothing for people who live comfortable lives, but to those persons it is a huge blessing! Some people would tell us “thank you for reminding us that we are humans”. They really appreciate the fact that the food we provide is of good quality.
I meet many women, divorced, widowed or still married, who had to sell their bodies for money. They hate themselves but they have children to provide for and had no other choice. Our help prevents that they keep resorting to this kind of desperate means of survival.
We also met a man who was trialed for stealing three cans of sardines. When the judge asked “Would you do this again if I let you out?” he answered “Yes Sir I would, my kids were hungry, I would do anything to feed them”. We managed to provide his family with food baskets and to find him a job.
This work is the main reason why I stayed in Syria. It gave me a better understanding of the Syrian families’ sufferings. Not only could I enter their homes but also their hearts and I could feel their pain, appreciation and most important hope which most of them had already lost.”
As an internally displaced person myself, I consider myself a survivor and now I can help many people thanks to my job!