Syrian Refugees in Jordan: “People were killed in the streets outside our home”
Having children with disabilities is hard on any parent. Add to those challenges the terrors of war and the superhuman efforts required by living as refugees.
Mohammad and Ghanyah have six children aged between 21 and 4. Two of them have disabilities. Filling in for each other, they tell the story of how the family of eight escaped their home in the Syrian city of Homs and came to Amman, the capital of neighboring Jordan.
“People were killed in the street outside our house. If we went out, we were shot at. We had to leave. We spent seven months in Damascus, but in the end that became too dangerous. So we went to Daraa. From there we crossed the border with 300 other people escorted by opposition soldiers. “We couldn’t make any noise, so they gave our two disabled children pills to make them sleep and we carried them” relates Mohammad.
They arrived in Amman in July, after first staying several weeks at the Zaatari refugee camp.
“Living in the camp was very hard, especially for the children. The Jordanian police helped us get out of the camp, because they saw how difficult it was on them. At that time, the camp didn’t have anything – just tents. No mattresses, only sand to sleep on. My eldest daughter had come to Amman earlier. We stayed with them the first month, eleven of us in one apartment, before we moved in here” explains Ghanyah.
They didn’t have any money left when they arrived in Amman, but Mohammad had been able to bring some mobile phones from his shop in Homs. By selling them, the family could afford one month’s rent.
“For a while we couldn’t buy any food, only milk for the children. We wouldn’t have managed without the cash assistance from CARE. The rent is very high, even though it’s not a good place to live.”
About CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. CARE has been working in Jordan since 1948. CARE Jordan has extensive experience working with refugees, providing livelihood training and opportunities, emergency cash assistance, information sharing and psychosocial support to Iraqi refugees since 2003. Read more about CARE's response to the Syrian refugee crisis.