Photo caption: World Vision Canada

A big relief in difficult times

Dina’s life has not always been miserable.

In better days, her husband worked, her children went to school, and they lived in a 10-room house with an olive grove.

Today she lives in a tent – too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter – with her disabled husband, their nine children and their orphaned niece. The children are out of school and her eldest son looks for odd jobs to help support the family. Dina, 42, has developed diabetes and high blood pressure.

She bakes and sells 200 loaves of bread every day to try to make ends meet. But it’s not enough.

Dina and her family live in Syria. Ten years into the relentless conflict in that country, more than 11 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. Between December 2019 and March 2020, almost one million Syrians were displaced due to the intensified fighting in the north.

Dina tells her story:

“I come from Northwest Syria. … I fled my home three years ago. Once we left, an airstrike hit and injured my husband. Our home got hit, as well. My husband was hospitalized as he was heavily injured in the leg. His injury later resulted in him losing the ability to walk.

We then moved to a village nearby and stayed there for a while. After that we returned to our home town after we heard that the situation became safe and calm.

It wasn’t long before we had to leave our village again and go to a farm in the area. Then, I arrived at this camp and I’ve been living here for around a year now. I didn’t take anything with me from home because I thought we would go back just like the first time.

It’s not easy to survive summer and winter in the camp where I live now. It gets very cold, rainy and muddy. The water enters the tent and it gets flooded. In summer, it gets really hot and we have no fans to help us cool down. As for the sounds and smells, they are unbelievable.

I am forced to live in this situation because I cannot afford to rent a house for us. Our family is big and I have my husband and mother-in-law in need of special care. I am the breadwinner for the family now.”

Dina says her husband is in need of regular medical assistance but she does not have enough money to pay for his treatments.

Humanitarian Coalition member World Vision provided 2,978 families in 32 camps, including Dina’s, with a cash voucher to help pay for their basic needs.

“With the money I received, I paid my debts all at once, as I had borrowed money for my husband’s treatment.

“It was a big relief.”