20 November 2014
A Day in the Life of SOS Children's Villages Damascus
Children in the living room in house Number 8
SOS mother Samar lives in the Qadsaya village house Number 8, with her eight children, from different social backgrounds.
In front of it is a big apple tree, which, like all of the trees in the village, was planted by the children.
Inside, the house is filled with the mouth-watering aroma of food being prepared.
Children are gathered around the television in the living room while mother Samar cooks in the kitchen.
Eleven-year-old Said and his six-year-old old brother Wasim came to the village after losing their biological mother and father. They lived in Al Moadamia, one of the areas in Damascus that has seen the most violence and destruction.
One of their school friends told them their parents were dead.
“We were coming back from school, when one of our friends came running to tell us that our parents were dead,” Wasim recalls. A mortar shell had come crashing into their home.
The two brothers moved into a school serving as a collective shelter in the Al Jdayde area of Damascus for several months. Strangers shared the responsibility of taking care of them until their older, married sister took them into her home. However, with an unemployed husband the sister couldn’t afford to keep Said and Wasim in her house for long and she decided to bring them to the village.
“When they were first brought to the village, the two boys kept crying,” Mother Samar says. “They even tried to run away, especially Wasim.”
The two brothers had psychotherapy sessions to help them adapt to the village, and their psychological condition has much improved since they first arrived. They have started communicating with their brothers and sisters in the house.
Another new arrival at the village is 10-year-old Mouhannad. He was recently brought to the village by his mother, who couldn’t afford to take care of him or his brother and sister - after their father disappeared under mysterious circumstances. There has been no news of him since.
Mouhannad says: “I like our village. It doesn’t have destroyed houses. We plant flowers and fruit, and we have a tent to play in.” He adds: “Mother Samar makes the best pizza in the world.”
Then it’s drawing therapy time: the children are asked to draw whatever comes into their minds. Some draw hearts. The older ones help the younger ones.
They look like a true family living in a cozy house full of love, care and tenderness – in line with SOS Children’s Villages deep-seated belief in “a loving home for every child.”
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