Surviving Winter in Syria

The coming winter is the latest threat to Syrian children. Freezing temperatures, snow and heavy rain will make life a struggle for children who have been forced from their homes. “The winter months are even more brutal for children inside ...

The coming winter is the latest threat to Syrian children. Freezing temperatures, snow and heavy rain will make life a struggle for children who have been forced from their homes.

“The winter months are even more brutal for children inside Syria,” says Hanaa Singer, UNICEF Syria Representative describing her visit to Aleppo. “I saw children who fled their homes with nothing but the clothes on their back. After the horrors they have lived through, now they have to cope with the piercing cold.”

For children who have lost or been separated from their families, winter is an especially tough time. These are children like Ahmed. He sadly lost both his parents to the conflict and had to take care of his four siblings. With no parents and no relatives to mind him or his siblings, Ahmed took them to the Jibreen, an industrial district at the edge of Aleppo. Here they found shelter in a former cotton warehouse.

Safe from the violence, they were now threatened by the cold. Again, Ahmed stepped up to help his family. He began spending his day collecting firewood and anything that would burn to keep his siblings warm. Exposed to the cold for long hours, he began to grow weak and exhausted.

 

It can be a cliché to say that support from people like you makes a lifesaving difference for children, but it is true – especially in Ahmed’s case. Thanks to our supporters, UNICEF teams are on the ground right now helping children in Jibreen.

As soon as Ahmed was met by our team, he received a winter clothing kit. Ahmed was delighted when he received a box full of jackets, trousers, jumpers and boots. Now he and his siblings have suitable clothes and protections against the cold.

 

Ahmed and his siblings were also identified as unaccompanied and now a dedicated social worker visit them regularly to make sure that they are doing okay. They also have access to emotional support services, designed to help children like Ahmed deal with what they have been through.

For Ahmed and the camp in Jibreen, our supporters have made such a difference in their lives. Now clean water is being trucked in, supplies of food and medicine are available, schools are being run and work is being done to make the warehouse warmer and more liveable. As winter draws closer thousands of children have received UNICEF clothing kits like the one Ahmed did.

For children weak with months of hunger and lack of healthcare, this is lifesaving support that simply wouldn’t be possible without the kindness of UNICEF supporters.

If you would like to help provide clothing kits to children like Ahmed please click here.