Restoring Lives

Restoring lives broken by war

By Martha Collison Tearfund ambassador

Martha Collison

The war in Syria has been going on for eight years, but it didn’t hit home for me until I spent time with people whose lives have been torn apart. It’s people like them who will benefit from you taking part in Tearfund’s Big Quiz Night. People like Areej…

I loved meeting Areej. She is such a strong woman. We talked, and even cooked together. But she and her three children have been through terrible things.

The war brought with it bombs, death and kidnappings. Areej and her three children were trapped in the Syrian city they used to call home for two months before they could flee. She told me that she wasn’t sure they’d make it to Lebanon alive, but it was better to risk it than stay.


Areej and her children made it to Lebanon, and have been living in a tent, in a camp, for the last seven years. She is grateful to be alive, but refugee life is hard. Not only were she and her children left traumatised by their experiences, they struggled to adapt to life in a tent, with no way of earning a living to pay for essentials like food.

To get them through the darkest days, Tearfund’s partners provided Areej with emergency aid packages. But this was just the start.

Restoring Broken Lives
Martha Collison with children
Martha Collison cooking

Helping the whole person

I’ve been moved and inspired to see how Tearfund and its partners are helping people holistically – emotionally as well as physically. Along with emergency supplies, people are benefiting from sessions helping them to cope with their pain.

This is especially important for children. The war has been going on for eight years, meaning some have grown up knowing nothing but violence and upheaval. Through workshops run by Tearfund partners, they are being supported to recognise and manage emotions like anger and work through the trauma they’ve experienced.

Sara (12) and Zain (10) were two of the very brave children I met at one of these workshops. War has put them through so much, but they draw strength from their friendship. They spoke about being able feel joy again, to love themselves and trust those around them. Areej, too, spoke of the restoring power of these workshops. She told me she has inner peace and joy in her heart, which is truly amazing given her circumstances!

This mix of material and emotional support is laying the foundation for the healing of a generation of people devastated by conflict. And every pound you raise through Tearfund’s Big Quiz Night can help people like Areej, Sara and Zain.

Every £240 raised could provide four children like Sara and Zain with trauma care and peacebuilding skills, helping restore their hope for the future.

Martha Collison
By Martha Collison Tearfund ambassador. Martha is a celebrity baker, food columnist and ambassador of Tearfund.


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