Syria – 3 October 2017

Pregnant and displaced: Life in Aleppo

Our emergency response team is working with vulnerable children and families in Aleppo to make sure that children are protected and their rights are upheld.

Through our sister agencies, SOS Children's Villages UK distributes baby kits, including nappies, blankets, clothing and other supplies. Our aim is to help more than 2,000 mothers and about 1,200 babies under the age of two.

We spoke to one expectant mother about life in the besieged city of Aleppo in Syria. The 40-year-old woman lives with her husband and daughter at the SOS Interim Care Centre in Aleppo, which closed in April and is now being used to shelter displaced families.
 

When did the war start to affect your life?

Before [the war began in] 2011 I was living in southeast Aleppo. We left our home because of the conflict and lived in an eastern area for four years. A month ago we left the house because the situation turned extremely dangerous. I will never forget that moment: everyone was running down the street carrying their children. At that time we ran to a public park where we used to go to play. We stayed under a tree in the park for three days. They were the longest days of my life.

"I am really scared of not being able to keep my children warm during the freezing winter nights."

Mother, Aleppo
After that we were invited to go to the SOS Children’s Villages Interim Care Centre [in southwest Aleppo], which is the best thing that has happened to us during this very difficult time. I’m really glad that my husband, daughter and I still have one another.
 

What are conditions like for pregnant women like yourself who have had to flee their homes?

Before the war, pregnant mothers were able to get the medical support they needed. They could go to the clinic on a monthly basis. Today, it is very hard and many people are scared to go to the hospitals as they are known to be targets.

I suffered a lot during the delivery of my first child because several shells landed near the hospital during the birth. My husband had to get me out of the hospital immediately after our daughter was born. I am really afraid of living that moment again.

It must be exceptionally difficult to be pregnant at a time like this. What are your hopes for the future?

My biggest fear, for now, is being displaced again. I am living in the SOS Interim Care Centre but who knows if the situation will become difficult again or not. I will deliver my baby in the winter and I am really scared of not being able to keep my children warm during the freezing winter nights.

I hope that the situation will become safe again before my baby is born. I wish that what we are living through now becomes just a story that I’ll tell him about when he grows up. I wish that he never sees or experiences what we are facing now.

No individuals are named due to safety reasons. 

Please help us provide hope to a vulnerable child and their family in Syria.