Two orphanage projects in northern countryside of Aleppo
Enab Baladi- Aleppo Countryside
Growing up knowing nothing but war as a way of life, where poverty, hunger, fear, and loss mark their few years, tens of thousands of orphan Syrian children are among the most vulnerable groups in the country.
Shelter provision has become among their urgent needs after being forcibly displaced following the military campaign launched by the Syrian regime forces and their allies since December 2019.
Some charitable organizations have implemented housing projects for recently displaced orphans and their families in the northern countryside of Aleppo, which received more than 410,000 displaced people in the past three months, where children make up 60 percent of them.
The local council in the town of Kafra announced, on 10 March, that it reached a memorandum of understanding with the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Agency “IHH,” to build 95 housing units for the displaced orphans from the city of Idlib, in addition to a school within the units to serve the construction and the adjacent houses.
The head of the local council of the town of Kafra, Hassan al-Marai, told Enab Baladi that the council provided a land ready for construction, and the organization took the responsibility to build and equip the houses.
Each flat consists of two rooms and other facilities, where both water and electricity are provided in order to be ready for housing within four months.
“Al-Sham Association for Orphans Welfare and Care” started a similar project in cooperation with the local council in Turkmen Barah town, on land provided by its council with an area of 35 dunums.
The project will accommodate up to 300 typical residential flats where the buildings are eight meters separated from each other to secure proper ventilation and privacy.
The housing plan also contains a mosque, a school, and several gardens, and it is decided for the project to end at the fall of this March, according to the head of Turkmen local council, Muhammad Ahmed al-Barakat.
The number of displaced children from November 2019 until 8 March of this year has reached 562,000 out of 1,041,000 displaced people in total, according to a statement by the Syrian Response Coordinators Group (SRCG).
The number of orphans in the opposition-held areas in northwestern Syria has exceeded 185,000 according to a statement by SRCG to Enab Baladi, based on a comprehensive statistic for the year 2019 until mid-December.
The support provided for orphans at the end of last year was insufficient. It did not cover 50 percent of their needs in northwestern Syria, according to the director of SRCG, Mohamed Hallaj, to Enab Baladi in a previous interview.
Hallaj pointed out that the orphan care sector suffers from a shortage due to the increase of their numbers, mainly that some concerned organizations have suspended their work.
These kids risk being subjected to potential dangers, most notably school dropouts, which will consequently lead to child labor at an early age. The interference of international organizations is required to secure their needs and rights.
According to the report of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the humanitarian “catastrophe” these people face has reached its peak due to the waves of displacements in northern Syria and the overcrowding in unaccommodated areas for receiving large numbers.
These people’s most urgent need was to find shelter. Unfortunately, only 12 percent of them found a place to live in camps in the northern countryside of Aleppo, and the rest headed to unfinished buildings and collective asylum centers, such as schools and mosques.
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