Sponsor a child in Syria
Syria has been a tough place to grow up in for many decades due to poverty, high food prices and poor employment prospects. Today, it is a country devastated by a brutal conflict. More than 13.5 million Syrians are in dire need of humanitarian aid in their own country– 5.6 million of them children. Sponsor a child in Syria today and give a child the opportunity to have a safe childhood.
SOS Children has worked with Syrian children since the 1970s and is delivering essential and widespread emergency relief to help them cope during this difficult time.
You can help Syrian children by sponsoring a child with SOS Children:
Once the intellectual and political centre of the Muslim world, Syria has always been a meeting place of east and west. In recent times, however, life has been hard for Syrians. Rising food prices, high unemployment and overstretched resources have meant poor living standards, and Syria has for a long time been a destination for refugees from neighbouring countries.
A population displaced by conflict
Life has become harder still since civil unrest turned into war in 2011. So far, the conflict has forced over half the population from their homes and 4.6 million people have fled to neighbouring countries and Europe. Over 13 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, and the number continues to grow.
Children driven from home
Over half of those in need of help are children. Of the 110,000 people we have helped in Syria since we launched our emergency relief programme in 2012, the overwhelming majority are mothers and their infant children.
The majority of them have been forced from their homes by the violence. Many are living in temporary shelters with hundreds of other families, separated from their homes and possessions and often lacking even the most basic essentials.
An uncertain future
Without the stability of a home, parents cannot take proper care of their children. Education, health and nutrition, sanitation and even safe drinking water are all in short supply. Before the war, things were improving slowly for Syrian children, but change was highly dependent on the state of the economy. Slow growth has been halted and reversed by the conflict and once again the outlook is precarious for young people.
Our Work in Syria
Coping with war
Along with other charities and UN agencies, SOS Children is engaged in intensive emergency relief to help both children and adults who have been forced from their homes by the war.
Since August 2012 we have been working in both rural and urban areas around Damascus, Latakia, Homs, Daraa and Tartous.
- Providing displaced families with somewhere to sleep and supplying them with essentials such as clothes, medicine and bedding.
- Running two temporary child care centres in Damascus where 205 children find a safe, warm home and are cared for by SOS mothers.
- Offering three child-friendly spaces in Damascus and Aleppo. These are safe places where children can go to escape the horrors of war.
- Providing food baskets to desperate families. We have distributed 60,000 meals to families and are providing essential baby-care packages to mothers which include nutrient-rich milk and nappies.
- Working to ensure children remain in education throughout the disruption, paying school fees and supplying educational equipment. In 2013, we helped 16,000 children go back to school.
Our three decades of experience in Syria enable us to make the best use of our relationships with UN agencies, local NGOs and others to help the worst-affected get through this difficult time.
Over the coming months, we hope to reach out to 15,000 of the most vulnerable people in Syria.
Throughout the crisis, we have continued to help children in our Villages across Syria:
We began working in Syria in 1981 when the first SOS Children's Village was built in Qodsaya, near the capital of Damascus. On the side of a hill on the road towards Lebanon, the Village cares for children in a number of family houses.
In 1996, an SOS Social Centre was established in Darayya, a suburb of Damascus with a community outreach programme providing meals for single mothers and their children and vocational training for women and young people to help them find employment.
Since 2014 we have been running special temporary child care centres in Damascus, caring for an increasing number of unaccompanied children who have lost their parents or become separated from them in the chaos.
A second Village and a nursery opened in 1998 in Khan El Assal, near Aleppo, Syria's second largest city. Due to increased violence and constant fear, the children living in our Aleppo Village were moved to our Village in Damascus in September 2012. We keep hope that once peace is restored in Syria, the Children's Village in Aleppo will once again be filled with the sounds of happy children.
Now more than ever, Syria's most vulnerable children need the help of supporters like you.