An SOS Children’s Villages volunteer prepares school bags stuffed with supplies for children in Damascus.
An emergency programme begins in Aleppo with the opening of a CFS in July. By mid-year, SOS Children’s Villages provides more than 60,000 meals to at-risk families in Damascus and Aleppo
. A campaign is launched to promote the right to education and to get 6,000 children back to school
Here, two Syrian women care for children at a refugee camp in eastern Lebanon.
More than 2,500 Syrians are crossing into neighbouring Lebanon every day, according to the UN refugee agency, overwhelming local communities. SOS Children’s Villages launches an emergency programme in Lebanon
designed to prevent child neglect, abuse or exploitation while also helping to create understanding between Lebanese hosts and Syrian refugees. Here, two Syrian women care for children at a refugee camp in eastern Lebanon.
In one devastated area of Aleppo, an SOS Children’s Villages field worker is on hand to help displaced families get water.
In January, SOS Children’s Villages distributes winter clothing to more than 10,000 children
and provides food for 13,000 people in Damascus
. At least 7,500 people in Aleppo
receive food parcels and other provisions as winter set in.
This boy was able to go back to school through SOS support.
Civil war is having a growing impact on children’s education, healthcare and living conditions. UNICEF estimates that among the 6 million displaced people in Syria, half are children. SOS Children’s Villages works to help get children in Damascus back to school
. The mother of a 7-year-old helped by SOS Children’s Villages says her son “started waking up in the morning on his own and has returned to school. He is now doing his homework regularly and is happier.”
In the coastal city of Latakia, an SOS Children’s Villages field worker talks with a child from a family that has fled fighting.
Refugees walk near Gevgelija, in southern Macedonia, in December.
SOS Syria continues to support at-risk children and families through the CFS and interim care centres (ICC) in Damascus and Aleppo, and provides assistance to displaced families in other areas. “Amid the horror and despair of the conflict in Syria, it is children and young people who are suffering most”, says Richard Pichler, then-CEO of SOS Children’s Villages International.
With one-fifth of Syria’s 23.5 million people having fled the country and increasing numbers heading to Europe, SOS Children’s Villages launches emergency programmes in Greece, Hungary, FYR Macedonia and Serbia
to assist children and families seeking refuge in Europe.
Hundreds of school-age children have returned to the classroom under the work-to-school programme.
A medical worker tends to a baby at a health centre for displaced families. In addition to check-ups, SOS Syria arranged treatment or emergency surgery for 175 children.
Intensified fighting takes a heavy toll on schools and hospitals around Aleppo. In April, fighting forces the closure of the SOS Children’s Villages CFS and ICC
. More than 20 children living at the ICC are safely transferred to Damascus. SOS Syria provides meals, baby supplies and family hygiene items for displaced families from Aleppo. “There is an urgent need for more food as thousands of people are now fleeing the fighting”, says one SOS Syria field worker in Aleppo. “We are deeply concerned about the impact on children and there is a desperate need to ensure that they have food, water, medical care and safe shelter.”
SOS Children’s Villages works in Damascus to help vulnerable families so that children who have been sent out to earn extra money can return to school. In December, a second SOS Children’s Village is announced
to relieve overcrowding in Damascus.