Ahmad Saud was not four yet when death took his father; a missile fired by a plane hit their house in the town of Orm al-Jawz in Rural Idlib.
Ahmad’s mother says: “I did not have anyone to wage for me or help me raise my son until I heard of a foundation that takes care of orphans and provides them with education. So, I decided to send my son there wishing that it will cover some of our needs.”
Ahmad’s story is one among the stories of one and a half million children who lost one or both of their parents.
A report, issued by the United Nations’ Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), shows that the number of Syrian orphaned children has reached half a million since 2011.
In the same report, “UNICEF” mentioned that Syria is now one of the most dangerous places in the world for children, describing the situation as “a disaster in every sense of the word.”
Afkar (Ideas) Humanitarian Foundation for Orphans Care in Idlib is one of the rare foundations working in the same field in this region. Afkar guarantees orphans in Idlib’s southern countryside (Um Al-Seer Camp, al-Walid camp, and the town of Orm al-Jawz), as well as the city of Jarabulus in rural Aleppo.
According to what the Foundation’s director, Jumana Omar, told Enab Baladi, the Foundation targets about 400 orphans between 6 and 18 years old; it also funds orphans’ families and provides them with social welfare and developmental monthly programs.
Omar stresses that the Foundation’s priority is to provide aid and help orphans, especially unguaranteed ones and to enroll them in schools to get the education that they have been denied due to war and losing one or both of their parents. The Foundation aims to elevate these children and to help them at a financial and spiritual level to incorporate them in the country’s reform process.
“Due to the lacking financial resources, we are unable to cover the needs of all people. There is resentment on the part of the section which we could not help. We have new projects which will help us provide more,” Omar added.
Omar calls for increasing the coordination between orphans’ care associations and stresses the need to work harder to enhance orphans’ integration into society, as well as providing enough support for their families who are unable to assume their responsibilities.
Commenting on UNICEF’s report, Omar said that this number is way less than the truth for the suffering of orphans is greater than that of other children.
“UNICEF” mentioned that thousands of Syrian children have either died or lost their siblings, parents, and breadwinners, as well as their homes.
The United Nations had previously warned against the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the besieged areas in Syria during the coming winter and its impact on children and said that tens of thousands of them have become disabled permanently. It also pointed out that in the besieged areas, hundreds of thousands of children are stranded without support confirming that, out of a million displaced children, about eight thousand were displaced alone without a family member or a companion.