SYRIA - SOS Aleppo village – September 27 2012

Children from Aleppo evacuated to Damascus

After nearly two months of constant fear due to heavy fighting, lack of fuel, regular blackouts and restricted moving, the children from SOS Children's Village Aleppo were evacuated to the SOS Children's Village in Qudsaya on the outskirts of Damascus.

Since SOS village in Qodsaya is located in a relatively safe area, 61 children together with their ten SOS mothers now share the houses with the SOS families in Syria's capital city. Thirteen youth girls and seven youth boys, accompanied by two youth care co-workers, also came to Damascus and are accommodated in the village respectively in the youth boys' house in Sahnaya.

"The village is empty now. It is really sad, since more than 17 years it was never empty and now it feels as there is no life", said the assistant of the village director who is currently staying in Aleppo. The administration staff and the social worker also did not move to Damascus but try to go to work as regular as possible in order to care for urgent issues.

"It took us nine hours to reach Damascus because of the many checkpoints from both the opposition and the Syrian army. And we had to make big detour to avoid the hot areas especially between Aleppo and Homs. We spent about two hours and a half for a distance of 48 km before reaching the main highway between Homs and Damascus", said Mr Gassan Al-Shami, the director of the SOS Children's Village in Aleppo.

SOS Aleppo village was opened in 1998 in Khan Alasal area 12 kilometers southwest of the center of Aleppo city and since 2012 it has been controled by the armed groups in Aleppo rural.