Syria – 1 March 2018

Jaramana Centre re-opens after brief closure

'The need to support children affected by the ongoing war is ever greater', says the facility's manager

The SOS Children’s Villages Jaramana Drop-in Centre outside Damascus has re-opened after being briefly closed as a precaution due to the fighting in the nearby Eastern Ghouta district.
 
“The security situation around the Jaramana centre has improved, so we are resuming activities,” said Mohammad Massoud, Project Manager for the Drop-in Centre. “The need to support children affected by the ongoing war is ever greater. We are hopeful that the international efforts to achieve a truce are successful, so that we can help children and families in urgent need in Jaramana and across Syria, without interruption.”
 
The centre was closed from 21 to 25 February. SOS Children’s Villages continues to keep a close watch on the security situation to ensure the safety and well-being of all the children we support.
 
Before the temporary closure of the facility, Alia Al-Dalli, International Director of the Middle East and North Africa Region of SOS Children’s Villages, called for a truce to allow humanitarian relief in the eastern suburbs of Damascus.
 
“The ongoing violence exposes children to unacceptable daily perils and to severe long-term trauma,” Ms Al-Dalli said. “As a first step to relieve the suffering, we urgently call on all parties in the conflict to allow the safe delivery of humanitarian supplies to relieve the suffering in besieged areas of Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, and across Syria. We further urge the conflict parties to ensure the safety and protection of children, as is their right under international law, as well as an end to attacks that threaten schools and hospitals.”
 
Support for separated children
The Jaramana centre on the eastern outskirts of Damascus provides children from besieged areas urgently needed care and temporary shelter. With a capacity for around 20 children, the centre focuses on younger children and adolescents who are separated from their family or have left school to work to help their families survive.
 
Launched in partnership with the UN children’s agency (UNICEF), the Jaramana Drop-in Centre has helped more than 100 children since it opened in November 2017. The centre also supports vulnerable families through a separate SOS Children’s Villages programme that provides temporary help to families to encourage their working children and adolescents to return to school.
 
Jaramana, on the outskirts of the capital, has been a major destination for Syrians displaced by fighting in other parts of the country including Eastern Ghouta.
 
Alia Al-Dalli, International Director of the Middle East and North Africa Region of SOS Children’s Villages, says the ongoing fighting in Syria “exposes children to unacceptable daily perils and to severe long-term trauma.” Photo by Lydia Mantler
 
The entrance to the Drop-in Centre [top photo]. Photo by Fares Haj Ebraheem
 
Read more about our emergency response in Syria.
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