SYRIA – December 16 2018

New home in Damascus for youth in SOS Care

Basima finds care and support at SOS youth house after living in SOS interim care centre for three years

15-year-old Basima lives in one of the SOS interim care centres in Damascus vicinity. Like many other children who are getting ready to leave the center soon, Basima is going to move to a new SOS house located in Damascus rural. There, she will live with other young girls who lost their parental care during the Syrian crisis and could not be reunified with their biological or extended families. 

From a very young age, Basima went through very hard experiences. The outbreak of clashes in Eastern Ghouta, where she lived with her family, has led to impose the siege over the area. For two years, Basima and her siblings lacked food, water, and medical assistance. Moreover, they were deprived of school for one year due to the bombing of the majority of schools in Eastern Ghouta. After two years of living in a place without security and food, Basima's mother had to find a solution to get out of the besieged area with her 6 children. She had to take the decision by herself to escape through the ground tunnels.

   Life in the eastern Ghouta was extremely hard. In some days we had to eat grass only to fill our stomach. It even became harder after my parent's separation. Our father left us and we still don’t know if he is alive or not


After their escape, Basima’s mother brought her children on January 2016 to SOS Interim care centre and she went to live at one of her relatives.

When she first came to the centre, Basima spent days without talking to anyone except to her siblings. She was in urgent need for nutrition and psychological support which required an intensive care from her caregiver and the psychologist at the centre. Today, after 3 years, she improved significantly. Basima went back to school and last year she obtained the preparatory school certificate. She also made many new friends at the centre, with whom she shares her passion for sewing and making handicrafts. “Basima is good at sewing. She even started making her own dresses by herself. She has a dream to become a fashion designer and I believe that she will not give up her dream” said Sireen, Basima’s caregiver at SOS interim care centre. To support her, Sireen, helped Basima register in handicrafts and sewing courses where she can use the sewing machine and kit two days a week after school.

Since she brought her children to SOS interim care centre, Basima’s mother has not stopped visiting them. However, it was not possible to reunite them together because the children’s right in the biological family could not be met. However, attempts to find a solution didn’t stop until Basima and her siblings expressed their strong wish to stay in the centre. “I love my mother very much, but I am very happy and safe here. I asked my brothers and sisters, they also have the same feeling” said Basima.

To prepare Basima for the long-term SOS family care in her new youth house, she will go through a transition process. This process will help her adopt with her new life, new home, and new school. When she will move to the new youth house, Basima will start preparing to become an independent person and planning to begin her own journey in life.

*The child’s name was changed to protect his privacy.