Syria – April 27 2018

Children helping children

SOS Children’s Villages families in Damascus gather clothing to help those displaced from Eastern Ghouta

Families at SOS Children’s Village Qodsaya collected clothing to help children displaced by the fighting in Eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of Damascus.

“This is my favourite pajama, should I put it in the box too?” said one nine-year-old boy who was among those who helped gather and package clothing to donate to children in need.

Wissam, a psychologist of the Qodsaya Village in Damascus, was behind the idea to collect clothing and provide it to children who were recently evacuated from besieged Eastern Ghouta. On a recent weekend, the Qodsaya Village was like a beehive. Some children were packing clothes, others sorting them by size, while another group helped the SOS Children’s Villages mothers with ironing.

“We want children in our care to be grateful for what they have, have empathy for children who are in need, and feel the happiness of helping others,” Wissam said about the initiative to help those displaced from besieged communities.

By the evening, everything was ready and all boxes were gathered in the Village activity room so they could be collected and distributed at a displacement camp near Damascus.

SOS Children’s Villages has worked in Syria since the organisation opened its first village in Damascus in 1981. Since SOS Children’s Villages Syria began its wartime emergency response activities in 2012, it has helped an estimated 95,000 children and 52,000 families affected by the conflict.

SOS Children’s Villages emergency response programmes are located in Aleppo, Damascus, as well as Tartous. Through its humanitarian work, SOS Children’s Villages Syria provides child friendly spaces, interim care, medical and educational support, and humanitarian assistance. It has successfully worked with local and international partners to provide sustained care for children, including those who have lost parents or are separated from their families because of the ongoing conflict.

SOS Children's Village Qodsaya was a beehive of activity as clothing was collected, sorted and packaged for distribution to children displaced by the fighting in Eastern Ghouta. Photos by Lur Katt