Syria – 3 January 2018 Update: SOS Centre in Damascus reopens SOS Children’s Villages has reopened its temporary care centre in the heart of the besieged city of Damascus after a week of intense fighting in the Syrian city. SOS was forced to close the Jaramana Drop-in Centre last week when escalating violence meant we were unable to guarantee the children’s safety. The centre offers children whose lives have been devastated by eight years of civil war a safe place to escape from the violence around them - as well as food, healthcare, bathing facilities, shelter and recreation. The decision to re-open comes after the UN voted unanimously on Saturday for a month-long ceasefire of hostilities “without delay”. Although air strikes resumed almost immediately after the motion was passed, the security situation has now improved enough that children and their families are able to return. “We are relieved that it is now safe for children to return to the SOS centre in Jaramana, which is so important to the children of this area and their families.” “We continue to hope that efforts to achieve a lasting truce are successful, so that we can help children and families in urgent need, without interruption.” Many of the children who turn to the centre for help have been living on the streets – sometimes with their parents, other times alone - and scavenging for food and plastics they can sell to survive. Most no longer attend school because it is simply too dangerous to do so, and psychological trauma is common. SOS Children’s Villages continues to keep a close watch on the security situation in the region to ensure the safety and well-being of all the children we support.