An Update from Damascus

When thousands of children and families finally left the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta after enduring years of conflict – we were there.

We met people malnourished from years of deprivation, children who lost their moms and dads, and thousands more with deep emotional and physical wounds.

Providing refuge to these disoriented and fearful families was our first priority. Our first response was to organize a large transition shelter to host more than 12,000 people.

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A Plumber's Toolkit

Abu Munir lost a son in a bombing, and then lost his livelihood when he fled his home. He was forced to move into a single room with his wife and four surviving children. When they needed a bathroom or a kitchen, they relied on the kindness of their neighbors.

When our staff first met Abu Munir, he was still reeling from the death of his son. He cried more than he spoke, but eventually he opened up. He told us he had been a plumber before he was displaced.

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Ghada

One of the accomplishments you can be most proud of supporting is the 30,000 women who are currently active in therapy groups organized by our Syria team in communities and shelters throughout the country.

Among those efforts is Hear My Heart, a therapy space for women to support one another that is led by trained facilitators. It is also a way for our staff to understand women's needs and worries so we can better serve them and their families.

Hear My Heart helps women and girls like 15-year-old Ghada, who fled Aleppo with her family more than two years...MORE

Sandra

When Sandra first arrived in Damascus two years ago, she barely spoke.

Sandra's parents are both missing. It was her grandmother who brought Sandra and her five siblings to Damascus, to escape fighting near the city of Homs.

When Sandra began attending programs at one of Questscope's shelters, staff there noticed her condition.

"Her grandmother explained to us that she suffered from a speech impediment, and her situation had deteriorated since her parents went missing because she did not receive the required care," one of our staff members at the shelter...MORE

Update: Emergency Response in Syria

Overview

In late December, we sent out an urgent request for help evacuating families from Aleppo and the surrounding villages. After the front lines collapsed and the fighting ended, nearly 100,000 people were on the move from places that had been bombed and shelled. 

In the villages of Al-Foua’a and Driya, thousands of women and children were evacuated to safety in Homs after living under siege for nearly three years. 

They left with nothing and needed everything. You answered our call for help and raised almost $100,000 ‒ twice our...MORE

News from Syria

For the first time in five years there may be a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel in Syria. A fragile peace agreement was struck a few weeks ago that increases our on-the-ground potential to deliver humanitarian aid to more communities.

We are one of a few organizations with presence and a network of trusted partnerships in Syria. We have expanded with 1,800 staff and volunteers continuing to serve where we were and move into new places.

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Our Response to Syria - from Curt Rhodes

Syria is in the news a lot these days. And it's a place where I've spent a lot of time. It was a country of artists, engineers, teachers, people who had dreams and plans. Their children played under the shade of old trees along the edges of streets and their young people gathered in dozens of brightly-lit internet coffee shops at night. Before fighting broke out in 2011, Syria's population was 22 million. 

Today, half those Syrians have been forced to flee their homes. 7.6 million are now displaced within Syria and 4 million have become refugees in...MORE

Back to School?

Approximately 98 percent of children in the United States stood on the curbside waiting for the school bus this year.

There’s the five-year-old girl starting kindergarten. She takes that first step onto the bus, with dreams of becoming a teacher. Her future holds endless opportunity.

There’s the mother that watches her. As her daughter takes that first step onto the bus, she beams with pride thinking of her future. What will she learn? Who will she become?

Four years ago, mothers and...MORE

Informal Education: A stepping stone for a bright future

“I want to go back to my home, my games and to my bed.”

The words of Nabil, a 12-year-old Syrian refugee, tell the story of a life abruptly interrupted.

Nabil fled his home with his mother, father and four siblings three years after the outbreak of conflict in Syria. His eyes fixed on the past and feet planted in the emptiness of the present—it seemed impossible for him to walk forward.

Whatever hope he might have felt upon escaping their war-torn homeland was quickly crushed upon arriving in Jordan’s Zaatari camp. The bed Nabil used to sleep on in his home...MORE

A Better Future: Trading Violence for Community

Sufia stole from her classmates in school. Amer led a gang of boys in throwing stones at passing cars. Hani was caught spray-painting caravans.

Like Sufia, Amer and Hani, many young Syrian refugees living in Zaatari Camp have resorted to anti-social behavior in the face of frustration and boredom. Knowing this, Questscope reached out several months ago to youth in the camp to...MORE

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