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From Summer Camp to Refugee Camp

If the Syrian people wanted a change of scenery, this is certainly not what they had in mind. No one living in Syria would have imagined that they would be displaced from their home country within a few days; that they will be looking at the sunrise and sunset from the other side of the border on foreign soil. The Syrian crisis that unfolded and worsened in less than three weeks has now stretched to almost three years now with no possible signs of slowing down or offering a glimmer of hope to these displaced refugees of going back home in peace and serenity.

As it is with any crisis, it is always the children who have to bear the worst of it. This is a difficult time for parents. These situations are tough to explain to anyone. But when it comes to children, the matter is even more personal and sensitive because little young minds who are already traumatised from the chain of events simply cannot comprehend any more pain and suffering.

The Zaatari Refugee Camp along the Jordanian border houses over 140,000 Syrian refugees, making it the fifth largest ‘city’ in Jordan. More than half the population is under 18, essentially children who had to flee for their lives to avoid bloodshed. The camp has two makeshift schools and three hospitals. The hospitals are no doubt a blessing. However they are completely flooded operating at maximum capacity as refugees continue to arrive in Jordan.

The situation in the schools is no different. While it is a welcome sight to have not one but two schools functioning at refugee camps, the student population has grown exponentially making it difficult to maintain a manageable studio-teacher ratio and keep the focus on education. In such conditions, the children of Syria find an educational environment completely different from that of their home schools. Nothing seems familiar. Everything is changed. They have to make new friends. Meet new teachers. A few months ago they were going to summer camps, wearing neat uniforms and carrying nice school bags. Now they find themselves in a refugee camp with nothing but the clothes on their back eagerly awaiting provisions like food and water to be handed out so they can eat.

How can one not feel for these young children? They didn’t ask for this. They didn’t choose this. All they wanted was a normal life. But instead they were forced into this adverse situation and are now left to fend for themselves.

Muslim Aid’s Syria Relief Aid Campaign started in early 2011. Our goal was to assist the Syrian people on both sides of the border. Over the span of three years, we have managed to establish presence along the Jordan and Lebanon border to Syria in an effort to assist the Syrian refugee. We continue to provide hygiene packs, warm blankets, food rations based on the donations we receive from our valued donors. The winter season is this part of the world is brutal. Temperatures drop to near freezing which is not bad if you are inside a walled structure. But if you are a child living in a tent, it can be excruciating.

Be the warm blanket for these innocent souls. Donate to Syria today.

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