Qodsaya, Damascus

Syrian girls from SOS Children's Village Qodsaya laughing for the cameraIn 1980 the first SOS Children's Village in Syria opened in Qodsaya. It is a suburb of Damascus, the capital city located in the south of the country. Today, due to the violent civil war, children in Syria are in need of our protection more than ever.

A turbulent region

Since the uprising began in March 2011, hundreds of thousands of people have died and many more injured. The tense situation affects the lives of all Syrians.

Economic conditions in the country have deteriorated. The price of goods, especially those that have to be imported have risen sharply, making it increasingly difficult for people to afford food and other basic goods. In search of refuge, nearly five million people have fled to the neighbouring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. 

Children evacuated to Damascus

Children from our Village in Aleppo have been evacuated to our Qodsaya Village, DamascusDue to increased violence and safety concerns, children at our Village in Aleppo were evacuated in September 2012 to our Village in Damascus. Therefore, SOS Children's Village Damascus is currently our only location in Syria offering children a loving home. Here, children live in SOS families, that are headed by a caring SOS mother. 

In each family, the children live with their SOS brothers and sisters. These families have stayed together during the civil war, and will move to safer facilities if needed. When young people who grew up in an SOS family feel ready to leave home, we help them to study, receive training or find work via our specialised youth programme. 

Supporting families for the past three decades

For the past 30 years, we have been providing the local community and vulnerable children with essential support and we are continuing our work despite the difficult circumstances. Our long-term presence means that we are trusted in the area, and our established networks ensure we can continue to carry out our important work. 
Despite the war raging, we're continuing to provide education to the children at our Village in Qodsaya, DamascusOur SOS social centre in Darayya, a suburb of Damascus, has provided families with health care, nutrition, clothing, medical care and education. Training courses are offered to women and young adults so that they may find work and help life themselves out of poverty. In times of peace and conflict, access to education is one of our priorities. We help children to attend school by providing stationery, private tuition where needed, and material support to families.

Emergency help 

We are working very hard to ensure that young people stay safe in these dangerous circumstances. Since August 2012 we have been providing emergency relief to the local population, providing aid to families, and trying to get children back to school. 
We are running two temporary child care centres in Damascus where trained staff care for unaccompanied and seperated children. We work hard to try and find their families so that they can return home but if that isn't possible, the children stay in our care. Find out more about how we are supporting unaccompanied and seperated refugee children across the Middle East and Europe.



Did you know? SOS Children cares for two of the children featured in BBC documentary Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children.