Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in conflict. Over 400,000 people have lost their lives and an estimated 13.5 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian aid. Approximately 11.4 million people are displaced; they have fled to other parts of the country or abroad. SOS Children’s Villages Damascus (previously known as SOS Children’s Village Qodsaya-Saboura) has been supporting vulnerable families and children since 1981.
Families are struggling to survive
SOS Children's Village Damascus is keeping children who have lost their parents safe (photo: A. Pamuk). .
Syria’s capital city of Damascus, which had a population of roughly 1.8 million before the war started, is located in the south of the country. Although Damascus has been one of the safer Syrian cities, there have been repeated reports of shootings, bombings, deaths and injuries.
The tense security situation has affected the lives of all Syrians since the conflict started. Families in some areas of the city find it increasingly hard to find food – prices have risen sharply - and clean drinking water.
The Syrian health care system has practically collapsed. More than half of Syria's hospitals have been destroyed or badly damaged: medical help and medicines are in very short supply. Around 30 per cent of schools are no longer in operation and, in spite of temporary schools and classes, around one third of school-aged Syrian children are not receiving an education.
Vulnerable children need support and protection
Syrian children are in urgent need of support. Due to the ongoing conflict, SOS Children's Villages is carefully monitoring the situation in order to provide vital humanitarian assistance and to ensure the safety of children and families in our care.
Due to the fighting, in 2012 we evacuated SOS Children's Village Aleppo. The families moved to the SOS Children's Village in the Qodsaya district of Damascus.
In 2017, due to the high number of children who had lost parental care, more SOS families were formed. They live in Saboura, in southwest Damascus which is considered to be one of the safest areas of the country.
What we do in Damascus
We support familes who are struggling to survive amid the fighting (photo: A. Pamuk)
Care in SOS families: Over 150 children and young people currently live in the care of SOS Children's Village in Damascus. Brothers and sisters grow up together in the care of an SOS mother. The SOS families, from both Aleppo and Damascus, have stayed together during the war and have moved to safer areas wherever necessary.
Support for young people: SOS Children’s Villages supports young people while they continue their studies, do further training or look for a job.