This winter we want to lighten the burdens of families like Yasir, so alongside all his responsibilities he doesn’t have to worry about the harsh weather to come.
Today was a very emotional day, it was the struggle of families. We visited a family in a place called Ramtha not far from the Syrian border. In particular I spent time with Yasir the head of the family, and learnt about the real impact on families in this crisis.
Yasir used to stay awake at night in Syria unable to sleep from the fear that his house would be attacked. His family used to sleep at night with their clothes on, ready to flee at any moment notice. One night his fears became a reality and his house was demolished by a bomb, luckily he was able to escape with his family, and described how they ran for cover and hid in large holes in the ground. He managed to flee to Jordan, although his two brothers were killed when their cars were bombed and his younger brother only 14 lost his leg in another bombing. At 41 years old and the eldest in the family, he has a huge responsibility to his family, to care for them and make their life bearable. He has to look after his family, his disabled brother, pay the rent, and find fuel to warm his home and now he has the added worry of the winter coming. A really powerful memory from today was when we asked the mother ‘When was the last time you laughed?’ She giggled as she spoke about the time when they were running for their lives after the bombing and managed to get to safety and all stopped to look at each other. They were covered in dust from head to toe, hair dishevelled and clothes torn. At the sight of each other she said they burst out laughing. She paused as she took herself back to that moment and sat quietly as she shed a tear at the desperation of the situation. Yasir’s story was really touching because he is in a position so many families want to be in. He has his whole family, he’s in a house, he’s in safety, out of the tents.. But his life is far from the dream he talks of in Syria. Beneath the surface the real scars of his situation become clear. This winter we want to lighten the burdens of families like Yasir, so alongside all his responsibilities he doesn’t have to worry about the harsh weather to come. The memories of Yasir and his family: wife Sabah, Alaa, Reem, Ahmed, Yaseen, Mohammed, Fairoz and Rawan, will be long lasting in my memory, that families work to hard to climb out of the pit of despair they are in, but once they get out, they still struggle to fulfill their basic necessities. That the dream life they had in Syria is still only a dream.