My name is Fatima and I am 33 years old. I live with my husband and our five children (ages 14, 13, 10, 6, and 5) as well as my mother-in-law who is 80 years old and who needs diapers and medicine.
We used to live in a modest but decent house before the war. Nine years ago, we had to flee our area as it started to be bombarbed. We moved to several areas, and after a long and excruciating search for suitable shelter, we settled down here two and a half years ago. This place is not what I would have hoped for but we are forced to live here since we cannot afford something else. This place is very small, unfinished, without a door for the kitchen, and with very few and tiny windows. We do not even have a bathroom. We have to shower in the kitchen. The roof is made of metal sheets. The rain leaks inside and cold air enters from the roof.
My first concern right now is the health of children. I’m worried because of the Corona virus especially, since one of my children is suffering from immunodeficiency and iron deficiency. I’m also always worried about food, as I don’t always know if I will be able to feed my children. Right now, the economic crisis has made everything worse and the fast increase in food prices was unexpected and concerns me a lot. On top of that, my husband’s meagre income does not even allow us to buy gasoline for heating in the winter.
I heard about the church through some people I met and to whom I explained my difficult economic situation. Following their advice, I paid the church a visit and they immediately answered my cry for help. For almost a year now, I have been receiving food baskets from them. In addition to that, they also gave me an electric heater, as well as clothes and toys for the children.
Being helped by the church gives me a sense of safety. I feel more secured, knowing I will be able to provide at least the minimum amount of food and heating to my children. The food baskets I receive are very rich and contain a good number of necessary and high-quality items. It allows me to save some money to allocate to other basic goods. But the most wonderful part of it is that we feel, for the first time, that some people really care about us and have offered us a helping hand. I don’t have a choice but to ask for help. I have young children that I need to feed. My children really enjoyed receiving the visit of the church committee, and they were touched as they were listening to us and trying to assess what our biggest needs are. They eagerly wait for their visits as there are not many people showing us love and demonstrating genuine interest in our situation. The children like to be asked about how they are doing at school and what they enjoy doing in their spare time. The church always thinks of something special like stationary, clothes, sweets, or toys to send to my children, and this keeps them overjoyed!
The visits from the church team give me strength, joy, and hope in this difficult time. They treat us as if we were family. They are sincere, gentle in listening, happy to help and give. They don’t discriminate between families. I feel comfortable to tell them everything that worries me, and it comforts me to know they are by our side. They helped restore my dignity among my peers in society. I also believe they have positively impacted my children as well, because I now see them trying to help their friends in the neighborhood and at school.
My biggest hope right now is to be able to find a job to help my husband provide for our family, and of course that my children will be successful in their education. I will do everything that is in my power to help them learn and study well. I hope and pray they grow up safely and stay healthy.