SYRIA - Family strengthening program – March 8 2017 Baking cakes of hope Standing in front of the mixer in her tiny kitchen, Nesreen went back with her memory to the kitchen of her old house in Ghotta (the country side of Damascus). That kitchen was a big one with every needed gadget to cook delicious meals. “What a rollercoaster, Eh Al Hamdolellah,” said Nesreen to herself. The sound of her children’s laughter pulled her out of her thoughts; it was music to her ears. With a content smile on her face, she continued to mix the cake to sell tomorrow. Like thousands of Syrians, Nesreen lost her house during the Syrian crisis. After a while of looking for a place to live in and a job to feed his family, desperation got to her husband and he just left. Suddenly, Nesreen (34 house wife) found herself alone with three children to support. She moved to live with her sister; a widow with two children. She worked in embroidery, but the work was exhausting and the money was not enough. A neighbor of her sister told her about the Family Strengthening Program of SOS Children’s Villages Syria, so she reached for them. The program offers her allowance for her children and tuitions for their schools, in addition to a monthly amount to help her rent a house. With her mind rests about her children, she and her sister agreed to a plan where the sister sits at home with children and Nesreen looks for a job. She found a job at a pastry shop; washing dishes. After a while she reached to the manager of the shop, asking her to try and test the cake Nesreen bakes. With a satisfied look in her eyes, the manager offered her a job as a baker. “I owe SOS a lot, they helped me secure my children’s future, giving them the chance to keep dreaming for tomorrow,” said Nereen with teary eyes. Today Nesreen is one of 600 beneficiaries; the Family Strengthening Program helps to keep their lives on track and to secure their children’s future.