Charity Home > SOS News > Middle East Crisis: Supporting refugees in Syria

Middle East Crisis: Supporting refugees in Syria


The continuing crisis in the Middle East has seen the Syrian capital of Damascus swell with the influx of many thousands of Lebanese nationals seeking refuge and safety in the city.

SOS Children has joined forces with the Red Crescent to offer support and shelter to these refugees who risked life and limb crossing the border. A school on the outskirts of Damascus has been kitted out with mattresses, pillows and bedding and is currently home to around 130 refugees.

The refugees are also being provided with basic supplies, including medicine and food and entertainment activities, to help improve morale. The children, in particular, are in need of distraction and activities to help overcome the trauma they have experienced. Drawing has proved a particularly good activity to enable the children to express their thoughts.

Boy at the refugee centre in Damascus

Whilst many of the new inhabitants at the school are simply relieved to have escaped with their lives, others are finding it difficult to forget their experiences. One young boy at first refused to leave the building, afraid that planes would fly overhead and drop their bombs before his father and SOS staff could convince him that he was safe from bombs in Damascus.

One family of four from a village close to the Syrian border told how they had been living without electricity and unable to wash as a result of the water shortage. The first thing the children asked for on their arrival at the refugee school was a shower. The mother said: "We survived with the help of God. Behind us were two buses taking refugees that were fired upon by warplanes when they stopped to buy bread… we saw the bodies coming out of the windows of the bus."

The refugees have been clustering in front of the television, desperate for news on the situation in their home towns and villages and for any signs of an end to the crisis.

Back to the Middle East Crisis news page

Relevant Countries: Israel, Lebanon, Palestinian Territories, Syria.

Schools Wikipedia Return to Schools Wikipedia Home page