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Aleppo, Syria

Fifty years, fifty countries: Syria

By Andrew Horton | 01 Nov 2018

To mark 50 years of Tearfund, we’re sharing about 50 countries where we’ve worked, celebrating God’s provision and power to transform, and praying for each of these nations. This week we’re in Syria.

Conflict broke out in Syria in 2011 leading to one of the most complex and tragic humanitarian situations in the world.

The nation sits on top of the list of countries whose people have been forced to flee as refugees. Taking shelter in places such as Lebanon and Jordan, 6.3 million people have fled from their homes.

According to The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – a UK-based monitoring group – there have been 364,371 people killed up to August 2018, including 110,613 civilians.
These figures don’t include 56,900 people who they said were missing and presumed dead and an estimated 100,000 deaths which had not been documented.

Tearfund has been working with Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. The majority of them have settled in local communities. We work with local organisations, building their capacity to deliver effective and efficient responses to those in need.

Our partners are  also supporting the Jordanian communities that have been hosting refugees.

'...finally we decided to flee to Jordan because a bomb hit our house.'
Fatima, Syrian refugee

A mother’s struggle

Fatima and her family wanted to stay in Syria, but when the bombings intensified her mind was made up, ‘In the beginning we didn’t move, but finally we decided to flee to Jordan because a bomb hit our house.’

For the last two years Fatima has found refuge in a town with her husband, and teenage son and daughter. At first she found it difficult to feel like a good parent to them, particularly after what they’d all been through. 

She heard from a neighbour that a Tearfund partner was giving psychological support for Syrian refugee women in Jordan and decided to go along to a session.

‘I thought I did everything right and I dealt with my kids in a strong way.’ But after the first session I discovered I was totally wrong. I was encouraged by others and I thought there was something in myself that needed to change. The main problem was my 17-year-old son, I couldn’t deal with him.’

Viewed differently

Fatima says that after completing the sessions her perspective changed.

‘When my daughter came from school I hugged her. She said, “Mum! What is the problem? Are you sick? What is wrong?”. She was so unaccustomed to me showing affection. It’s because we are under pressure from the war and lots of things have happened to us.’

‘Now things are different,’ continued Fatima, ‘we have won our children back. Because of the sessions we have been equipped to cope. Now we want you to teach our husbands!'


If you'd like to know more please visit our Syria page. If you've missed any other articles in this series you can find them here.


Written by

Photo of Andrew Horton

Written by Andrew Horton

Andrew is Online News and Film Editor for Tearfund. This involves finding and writing up inspiring articles for the website, and capturing compelling stories on video.

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