Mon 18 Jun 2018

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An Integrated Orphanage in Rural Idlib

The construction of the “Dar al-Rahma” Orphanage (Ataa Association)

The construction of the “Dar al-Rahma” Orphanage (Ataa Association)

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“Ataa” Relief Association is opening a “unique” orphan care center in the town of Qah, in Idlib governorate, northern Syria.

The project, “Dar al-Rahmah Orphanage,” is a permanent center for the reception of orphans, where they will be living and receiving care and various services; it comes as a response to the increasing number of orphans in Syria, especially in the areas that witnessed massive waves of displacement, escaping the shelling that resulted in many deaths and orphans, according to Abdul Rahman Shardoub, the Director of “Ataa” Association’s Branches.

Shardoub told Enab Baladi that the project’s idea emerged early in 2017, in the period that corresponded to the displacement of the people from eastern Aleppo, a displacement wave that was marked for the large number of orphans it included. However, the idea was not put into force until October 2017, after the competition of the project’s study, the constructive planning, finding the land and contracting with the executive company.

The orphanage will be officially opened by the end of next July; it will provide the resident orphans with free educational, cultural and recreational services. The project will be “the first of its kind” in the region, in terms of construction and the idea of the integrated orphan care center, according to the “Ataa” Association’s Branches Director.

Zaher Idris, the project’s coordinator, said that the center provides an integrated incubator for the orphans who lost both their parents, in the first place, then to those who have lost either a father or a mother. The center’s services also include programs for the rehabilitation of mothers and raising their awareness.

He also told Enab Baladi that the center has the capacity to accommodate about 500 male and female orphans, whose age varies between newborns to 13 years old.

The number of Syrian children who have lost one or both parents reached one million, since the break out of the revolution in 2011 to the end of 2017, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which described the situation as “a disaster in every sense.”

In a former interview with Enab Baladi, Jumana Omar, the director of “Akfar Foundation” for orphans’ welfare, rural Idlib, said that the number estimated by (UNICEF) is way less than true, and that the orphans’ suffering is different from other children’s because the care centers will have to provide them with financial guaranties and extra care.

Omar called on the organizations, concerned with orphans’ welfare, to enhance coordination among themselves and to focus on increasing the integration of these children into society, in addition to providing enough support to their families that are unable to handle the situation alone.

“Ataa” is a pioneer in the field of orphans’ welfare in northern Syria and Turkey, for it guarantees about 5,000 Syrian orphans in Turkey and Syria. It also offers educational sponsorships to orphans and supervises the “al-Shafi’” project for the care of talented orphaned children.

“Ataa” plans to expand the “Dar al-Rahmah” project in the future, as to include branches in different Syrian areas, for there is a massive need and one establishment can cover the gaps in the Syrian orphans’ reality.

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