SYRIA - Family reunification
– April 25 2018
Khaled, 16 years old, left the family home at age 12. He lived in ICC Saboura in Damascus for four years, before the reunification team of SOS Syria facilitated his reunification with his biological family.
Khaled was only five years old when his parents divorced, and he moved with his father and his mother-in-law to start a new life in Aleppo.
Khaled lived with his father until the age of twelve, when he fled the house because of family feuds. He did not have a permanent home when he left, he had to keep moving and seeking for a shelter that could protect him. During his journey, Khalid got wounded in his head with shrapnel of a missile.
“I was hurt in my head. They took me to the first aid’s centre, and I thankfully could recover. But the wound in my head was nothing in comparison to that in my heart.” Said Khaled describing his experience with the war.
When he finally was able to reach Damascus, he went to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent centre, who referred him to SOS Children’s Villages.
Upon his admission in the SOS Interim Care Centre of Saboura, Khaled was very short-tempered. He used to have lengthy and constant fits of anger. Our team of caregivers and psychologists provided tailored psychological support to him, taking into consideration his past experiences. Khaled evolved to a calmer person, and day after day in the centre, Khaled started adapting to his new family and made new friends.
“Discipline. It is discipline that I learnt the most in the centre.” Said Khaled.
His life was stable with SOS, but he could not stop thinking about his family. He dreamt of a better future, but still, there was that nuisance that distressed him: yearning for a loving family, for his own family.
I wanted to go back to my family to redeem everything. What is a person without his family? No matter how happy moments he lives, deep inside he will always be craving for that family
Khaled developed many skills when he was at the centre and his talents took their best shape. He improved his communication and social skills, and showed a special interest for art-works and handicrafts. While in the centre, he was able to return to school after one year of dropping out when he had no stable shelter.
“When I discovered that I will be reunited with my family I had mixed feelings. I was happy but at the same time scared. I spoke with my father, who is in Germany now, and we sorted our troubles out. He promised to take care of me and to start my visa procedures to re-join him. I am very excited for my new life.” Says Khaled.
Khaled’s friends waved him a warm goodbye before he left the centre with the SOS team, who accompanied him to Aleppo where his grandmother and brother live.
“We wish him a bright future, and we hope that he keeps in touch with us.” said Iman, one of Khaled’s friends.
“I have lived here for four years. We laughed and cried together. I want them all to keep studying and achieve all their dreams.” Khaled’s message to his companions in the centre.
“My biggest ambition is to continue my studies, and to join an art school when I am a little older. Thank you, uncle Murad for helping me find and nurture my passion!” said Khaled.
SOS reunion team visited Khaled in his grandmother’s house in Aleppo after reunification, and he was happy among his loved ones.