Agriculture project in Syria reunites a widow and her young daughterSeptember 13, 2018
Getting ready for the new academic yearSeptember 28, 2018
“My name is George and I am 23 years old. I am from Damascus and I am a dentist. But I am also working in psychosocial support programs in Syria such as the child friendly space (CFS) that has been held through my church in Damascus for 2 and a half years now.
In 2015, I was attending a MERATH training about child friendly spaces in Syria, and I really felt a calling to start such a program with my church. Those children have urgent psychosocial needs, and so the CFS appeared to me as a very concrete way to help them.
We recently felt the need to move the CFS to a different place near Damascus, so it can benefit more people. It is now located in an area where the need is bigger, since no one else around is providing this kind of services. We are now able to reach around 200 three-to-fifteen-year-old children with much needed psychosocial support-based activities and games. I am happy to say that the CFS has become a place for children from all backgrounds. As you can imagine, this a huge symbol of hope for the future of our country. Those children are learning coexistence; how they can get to know each other and live together in a respectful way.
Working with kids for three years continuously has really touched me because we are taking care of them, they open up to us about their feelings and their daily lives because they feel they are safe with us. A girl I had just given crayons for a craft activity once started crying and told me she had seen crayons on TV but never actually held any. I was speechless. It made me realize how in need the families we help are. As a result, we decided to give every kid in the CFS some small Christmas gifts, including crayons.
I have also been strongly encouraged by the activities we have been implementing for the parents. We have had focus discussion groups and several meetings. Ultimately, we decided to hold a four-day training for parents. On the first day they were not excited. The training was for two hours and a half each day and they did not see how it would benefit them. But on the last day I was pleasantly surprised to see that no one wanted the training to stop. Some parents said to me: “We wish we had this kind of training before getting married and having children”. One of the mothers attending the training seemed very familiar to me. When I went to ask her if we knew each other, she told me she used to be my teacher in school. She thanked me with all her heart for everything we are doing for the children and she was about to cry.”
The CFS has become a place for children from all backgrounds. This a huge symbol of hope for the future of our country. Those children are learning coexistence; how they can get to know each other and live together in a respectful way.
> Know more about our education and child protection programs
> Check out our annual report
> Contact us