Raising Grandchildren Safely During Winter

Hasan Bazazi is determined to raise his five young grandchildren safely, but as refugees in Jordan, life is not easy. The 85-year-old grandfather arrived in Jordan four years ago, bringing his five grandchildren to safety after his son and daughter-in-law in were killed because of the conflict.

Islamic Relief met Hasan and the children last winter, when they were struggling in the cold. Our winter warmth items, including a blankets, gas cylinder and heater, made the freezing temperatures more bearable for the family. He said: “I lost my son and his wife. The kids are traumatized because of the loss of their parents. I am doing my best to make the difference but it is too hard for me to be the mother and the father at the same time. I am 85. I cook, I wash their clothes. Sometimes, one of my acquaintances helps me clean the house. I pray to Allah (SWT) for a long life so I can raise them peacefully.” Since Islamic Relief met Hasan and his family, Hasan has had a stroke, and is now receiving treatment. “We are happy with the wintersation items that Islamic Relief provided us with last winter,” he added. “We hope this winter we will be kept as warm as last year. We are in urgent need of carpets and more blankets. The children need warm clothes and financially, I can’t afford it.” Last winter, Islamic Relief Jordan distributed more than 10,000 blankets, around 1,500 gas heaters, nearly 3,000 waterproof plastic sheet, and vouchers to help clothe more than 1,500 people ready for winter. Teams visited Mafraq, Jerash, Ramtha and Irbid where many of the Syrian refugees now live. “This is our fourth year in Jordan,” Hasan added. “Last year, the kids and I were enduring the bitter cold. We were stunned when Islamic Relief’s team knocked on the door. They were holding blankets, and a heater with a gas cylinder. We needed that so badly. The team was nice to the children and the kids were so happy.” Mazar, 11, added: “With the heater, I was warm enough to sleep well. The heater is on most of the time.” Two of Hasan’s grandchildren have been able to access education. Olivia Paras, Islamic Relief Jordan’s orphans and child welfare programme manager, said: “One of the children is in third grade and another in first grade. They enjoy going to school and this has impacted on their wellbeing. All of Hasan’s grandchildren will soon be sponsored by Islamic Relief to go to school.”