Family strengthening – April 21 2021

Nadine in her brave grandmother’s care

Ten years have passed since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis and Nadin* is completing her tenth year of her difficult and challenging life.

When she was one, Nadin and her older sister Maram lost their father for the Syrian war, which led their mother to leave them in their grandmother’s care and remarried. Despite losing her father and being separated from her mother, Nadin was not left alone because she received the care and protection she needed from her grandmother and the big supportive family she lives within Moadamiat Alsham area in Damascus rural.  

I had six sons; three of them died in the war, one of them is Nadin’s father. The other three disappeared years ago and till this moment we don't know if they are alive or not

Nadin's grandmother


Today, Nadin lives with her grandmother, sister and five cousins who have similar stories and share the same life experiences. Nadin loves all her cousins but her favourite one is Mais*. She is one year younger than Nadin and they both go to the same school.

“I always get full marks in all tests at school but before taking any test I feel very worried that I start to cry sometimes. When my teacher sees me, she laughs and says that me, in particular, shouldn’t be worried” said Nadin with a shy smile on her face. Nadin is very smart and good at school. She always helps her cousin Mais with her school subjects and answers her questions.

Nadin is strongly attached to her 59 years old grandmother. She always walks by her side, helps her with the household and the farming work. “Since she was a toddler, Nadin only sleeps next to me. Despite that she is so much giving and caring, she never allows anyone to take her place next to me when we all go to sleep,” said Nadin’s grandmother laughing.

Nadine doing her homework with Mais


Nadin wants to become a Cardiac surgeon in the future. She plans to work hard to save people’s lives and help those who do not have the expensive fees of Cardiac surgeries. At the same time, she wants to earn money to help her grandmother.

Nadin’s grandmother has a small farm next to their house. There, she raises five hens and plants different kinds of vegetables to feed her grandchildren such as potato, tomato, lettuce, eggplant… etc. However, due to the poor living and economic conditions, the families face in Rural Damascus, it was very difficult for Nadin’s family to stay together without receiving humanitarian support. Therefore, SOS Children's Villages has started providing support to the family through SOS Family strengthening Programme for more than two years. Through this support, Nadin is able to go to school with her sister and cousins. In addition, they receive additional educational support through private lessons due to the deteriorating educational services in public schools. “Through SOS Children's Villages support, I can meet my grandchildren's needs.I am glad to have SOS as a partner who shares this responsibility with me,” said Nadin’s grandmother.

To help Nadin’s grandmother take care of her grandchildren, SOS Family strengthening programme provides support for the family in many ways. In addition to the educational support, the family receives assistance to cover part of the food prices, clothing, medical care through medical insurance, and heating in the winter season. Moreover, the programme helps the grandmother to work in food provision and selling for winter which helps her increase the income for the family.

SOS Children's Villages helps Nadin and 619 other children in Syria to stay with their families. The main focus of this support is to prevent families breakdown and protect their children’s fundamental rights in a country where millions of children are in an acute need for humanitarian support.


*The name of the children were changed to protect their privacy.