Tag: World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day: Faaiza’s Story

Faaiza is eight years old. Her father holds her close, explains the plan one last time and then tearfully leaves her behind. She watches her parents and siblings make their way through the chaos of the Syrian border into Lebanon. Trucks rumble past and the crowd presses around her, blocking her view. And suddenly, Faaiza’s family is gone — and she is alone.

“My papers were not in order, so they let everyone in my family through except for me,” Faaiza recalls. “I was stuck on the other side of the Syrian border.” This is the life of a refugee. Faaiza’s neighborhood near Aleppo exploded into violence four days before. Having no time to prepare, they fled with all their hands could carry. Their only comfort was the fact they were alive and together — at least until they reached the border.

Stepping out of the view of the guards, Faaiza reaches down and pulls up a handful of dirt from her homeland — Syria. She rubs it on her face and hands, smearing it with the sweat from her long journey. Faaiza tears her clothes and completes the disguise. In just a few moments, she has reduced herself from the daughter of a middle class Syrian plumber to a beggar. With her hands outstretched and her eyes on the barbed wire fence — the only thing separating her from her family — she slips past the guards, crossing into Lebanon by herself. “God helped me find my family,” she says. “He didn’t leave me by myself.”

Convoy of Hope’s team met Faaiza a few years ago as we handed her a small space heater to protect her family from freezing temperatures. Her warm smile cut through the cold wind blowing about the dilapidated Beirut neighborhood where her family lives. For the last few years, Faaiza and her family have been scraping together the pieces of their lives. But, they now have hope for a brighter future. As our team says goodbye to Faaiza, the girl who navigated the border by herself, she turns to her mother and holds out the small space heater. She wants to offer it to another family in their neighborhood whose house isn’t as warm as theirs. Despite all she’s been through, Faaiza’s kindness has never waned.

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Advocacy / Field Story / News

World Refugee Day

As conflict and famine develop in a country, a new normal arises — violence escalates, crops and herds are destroyed and women and children are at the mercy of traffickers — forcing families to move, leaving everything they’ve known behind. Convoy of Hope steps in to offer these refugee families hope through education, emotional support, food, clothing and other important relief necessities.

Hope in Lebanon

In Lebanon, Convoy of Hope currently feeds more than a 1,000 refugee children in urban areas and encampments. Mehar and her family, who escaped to Lebanon from Syria, were often forced to beg for food from their neighbors. Now she receives a meal every school day through Convoy’s nutrition program, relieving financial pressures on her family and encouraging her continued education.

We also restore livelihoods through Women’s Empowerment programming, helping mothers to start their own businesses for a source of income. Doing so allows their children to attend school rather than having to earn money to supplement household expenses.

Hope in Uganda

In Uganda, Convoy of Hope has stepped in with programs reconciling women to their dignity by restoring access to food and clean water, hygiene kits and trauma care. Rose is one of more than 1 million South Sudanese refugees currently in Uganda. She struggled with chronic malnutrition, but after participating in Convoy’s nutrition program for pregnant and lactating women, her health has improved. Along with a therapeutic food supplement, she received training in nutrition, hygiene, and gardening. Rose cites the lack of information as a main reason why so many women are malnourished.

Hope in the Middle East and Europe

In the Middle East and Europe, Convoy of Hope is assessing a priority of needs among refugees and internally displaced families as conflicts escalate. In 2017, Convoy was able to serve thousands of displaced people in areas like Afghanistan, Jordan, Spain and Moldova through relief items like clothing, hygiene kits and winter weather kits.

We applaud the resilience of refugee women and children who, with your help, are re-stabilizing their households, redeeming their childhoods and resuming their lives from within their new normal. On this World Refugee Day, join us in supporting displaced families around the world at convoy.org/refugees.

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Advocacy / Children's Feeding