Mother holding child looking out over Beirut destruction
Lebanon – August 17 2020

Beirut Explosion: A mother’s story

“I am lost, I don’t know what my children and I will do.”

Rula* is a mother of three living in the Port of Beirut. She was already being supported by SOS Children’s Villages to help her keep her family safe and well in the difficult times that many people in Lebanon were already living through, faced with hyperinflation, poverty, political instability and the coronavirus lockdown.

Then on the afternoon of Tuesday 4 August, she was at home with her children when the two violent explosions hit the Lebanese capital.

“We ran out of our home with nothing but our blood-stained clothes on. I was wounded, my daughter’s hand was broken, and my son was also hurt and he is still in pain. But I am thankful that we survived.”

Rula spent the first night after the explosion at her brother’s house as the blast had damaged three-quarters of her home.

With support from volunteers and SOS Children’s Villages Lebanon, Rula and her children moved the next day to a temporary house where they can stay until it is safe for them to return home. The SOS team is helping her find people to repair her house.

Since the explosion, Carla Choueifaty, the SOS family strengthening coordinator in Beirut, has been in contact with families such as Rula’s to make sure they are safe and well, and to assess what support they need.

“The blast has been catastrophic, so many people dead, wounded or missing. Everyone in Lebanon has been affected in some way.

“Even if the families we work with are OK physically, this does not mean that they are OK. Their relatives, friends and neighbours will have been hurt. The shock and the psychological effects on children and adults are significant, they all need psychological support to get through this.”

At SOS UK, we are currently using any emergency donations to support children and families in Beirut to rebuild their lives. Please donate now if you can and we will ensure the money goes towards helping families like Rula’s in this incredibly difficult time.

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*The name of the mother was changed to protect her privacy

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