SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Syria).

Damascus is the capital of Syria and located in the south-western part of the country. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Because of its beauty it has been described as the “Pearl of the East”. Even though the majority of the Syrian civil war has taken place in different parts of the country, Damascus is still affected by it, with damaged or destroyed buildings and a weakened economy. Today Damascus is home to about 2.5 million people, many of whom moved here from other areas.

Since 1981, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Damascus.

12.4 Million
People in Syria are food insecure

Children don’t have enough food

After many years of armed conflict, a record number of Syrian families have been pushed into poverty, hunger and food insecurity. This means that people lack regular access to healthy food. The majority of Syrians are unsure where their next meal will come from. According to the World Food Programme, 12.4 million Syrians — nearly 60% of the population – don’t have enough to eat, with many more at risk of becoming food insecure in the future. Children and young people will suffer from this lack of nutritious food because their physical and mental development will be affected.

3.1 Million
Syrian children had to flee their homes

Children had to leave their homes

Around 7 million people, including 3.1 million children, in Syria are internally displaced. They had to leave behind their homes because of violence, natural disasters or armed conflicts and have settled in another part of the country. Death rates among displaced people are much higher and they’re also at risk of physical violence, sexual assault, and kidnapping. They're often denied proper housing, food, and health care. Children and young people who are forced to flee their homes leave behind everything they know. As parents struggle to rebuild their lives, children often miss out on schooling and on other normal childhood activities.

Your support makes a difference for children in Damascus

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Can stay together
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Many children who come into care have missed out on schooling. We make sure to support them so that they can get on track and get a good education (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Syria).

How your support helps in Damascus

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run training so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start their own businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.