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Syrian refugees surviving winter with community support

Zeytan and her family came to Turkey less than year ago, after her father went missing.

“We don’t know where he is,” Zeytan’s mother said. “We waited as much as we could but it was not safe there anymore. I was pregnant and with a little baby. We crossed the border running, with nothing, just what we could carry.”

Zeytan, a young Syrian refugee. Photo: Turkish Red CrescentZeytan has four siblings. Her eldest brother is 9 years old; the youngest one was born in Turkey and has not even had his first birthday. Winter is tough; people gave them some blankets and old mattresses to replace the even older ones they received when they arrived. The municipality also provided a stove but they have to find their own source of fuel.

Single parent families face particular difficulties. Zeytan’s mother said: “I would like to work but I have the baby and one little boy. I have to take care of the family.”

They mostly live on donations provided by different institutions or a little cash given by friends. Zeytan’s mother also washes clothes to supplement her income. “I wash while Zeytan helps me looking the children,” she said.

With this little money the eldest children can go to the market and shop for the daily needs. Zeytan’s mother tells us that she wishes the war was over, so they can return to their lives, but for now the situation is like this. She hopes that her children can attend school and improve their lives.

Canadians wishing to support the enormous humanitarian relief and recovery efforts in Syria and surrounding countries are encouraged to donate to the Syria Crisis Fund
Funds raised will go to support emergency efforts by the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. This will include relief items such as blankets, sleeping mats, food parcels and hygiene items, medical supplies, equipment and emergency personnel. 

Photo credit: Turkish Red Crescent

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