Syria – 14 September 2017

Syria: SOS opens emergency centre for children

Our sister organisation in Syria has opened a new Interim Care Centre (ICC) in the port city of Tartous to support 450 unaccompanied and separated children, as well as those who have lost parental care.

The Tartous centre will deliver urgently needed care to children in the coastal region that is home to large numbers of families and children fleeing from Syria’s bitter six-year war. The centre will provide safe shelter, psychological care, educational activities, medical care and entertainment for children for an initial three-year period. Experts will also be on hand to help children reunite with their families.

The new centre was officially opened in August, with funding from our sister organisation in Belgium and the European Union.

President of the Board of Directors for SOS Children’s Villages Syria Samar Daboul said: “The war took everything from our children. Many of them lost their homes, families and hopes. We believe that opening this and other interim care centres and Child Friendly Spaces will mitigate the impact of the war and help these children regain their childhood.”

SOS Syria also operates a Child Friendly Space in Tartous, offering activities for more than 350 children. SOS Child Friendly Spaces help protect vulnerable children and their families during times of crisis. They offer a safe space where children are protected from harm and can enjoy nutritious meals, safe drinking water, health services and counselling, as well as the chance to continue their education. We are also working with the UN children’s agency Unicef to provide courses and educational support for 1,100 children.
 
President of SOS Children’s Villages Syria Board of Directors Samar Daboul [centre] is joined by Aristide Ramaciotti, SOS Children’s Villages Senior Global Advisor [right], and Tartous region official Mohammad Gari at the inauguration of the SOS Interim Care Centre.

Our history in Syria
The first SOS Village was opened in Damascus in 1981. A second SOS Village in Damascus is due to open soon to support up to 80 children. Our SOS Village in Aleppo was evacuated in 2012 and all the children were transferred to Damascus.
We have emergency programmes on the ground in Aleppo, Damascus and Tartous. Our staff has been providing vital support to families and children during Syria’s civil war via SOS Child Friendly Spaces, interim emergency care, medical referrals, educational support and humanitarian assistance.

You can help us support Syria’s children by donating to our emergency relief fund.