Many years of fighting that has forever changed millions of lives.
One hundred and eight months of relentless conflict, leaving countless homes in rubble. Childhood homes that many young Syrians remember fondly, but to which they will never return.
Three thousand two hundred and eighty five days of waking up in a foreign place, wishing that things would just go back to how they used to be, but knowing that that may never happen.
Take a minute to reflect on where you were nine years ago. How different does your life look today than it did then? Now imagine that every day between “then” and “now”, you woke up with war all around you.
For many young Syrians, war is all they have ever known. For their parents, countless days have been filled with uncertainty. Will there be enough money to afford to eat next month? Is it finally safe here, or will we have to move again? Are my children getting the education they need? Many of the most marginalized people – including widows, orphans, the elderly, and those with disabilities – are experiencing the greatest needs.
In the midst of this crisis, World Renew has been a consistent presence, helping some of the most vulnerable families.
Six years ago, armed groups kidnapped Martiza’s husband. She never saw him again. As a mother of three living in the midst of war-torn Syria, Martiza had to make a difficult choice to protect her children. She fled her home, taking refuge in a nearby town. However, the burden of raising three children alone was enormous. She decided to remarry, in hopes that her husband would help save her kids from living on the streets. Sadly, that was not the case.
Her new husband did not have a stable income, and in frustration often took out his anger on her children. He forced Martiza’s 12-year old son to leave school to work to support their family. Despite repeated attempts to change her husband’s mind, Martiza was unable to do so. Desperate for her children to have a brighter future, she had few places to turn.
In the midst of her growing sense of hopelessness, Martiza heard about a local church who was helping those in need. She went to the church and shared her story with the Pastor. After hearing her story and visiting her children, the pastor began to provide them with a basket of food each month. The support that Martiza received is part of a much larger World Renew response.
“This food basket is essential for my kids as it has the main nutritious needs for them to grow,” said Martiza. “The importance of this food basket goes beyond its nutritious value. It helped my son go back to school and improve my husband’s temper when it comes to dealing with my children. Thank you for your generosity.”
Since 2012, incredible generosity has enabled World Renew to help many families in need. With matching funds from the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, US$13.8 million in support has reached over 204,000 people affected by the Syrian Civil War. This is possible because of the hard work and commitment of many local churches that work together with World Renew's humanitarian partner, Middle East Revive and Thrive (MERATH).
Today, 16,155 people affected by the war, throughout Syria and Lebanon are receiving much needed emergency assistance. In Syria, hundreds of families receive food each month, ensuring that parents can put food on the table each night. In Lebanon, families receive monthly vouchers, allowing them to visit local stores to purchase what they need most. In addition to this, 1,380 Syrian refugees in Lebanon are also receiving milk and diapers for their young children.
As the Syrian Civil War continues in certain parts of the country, humanitarian needs also continue to increase. It is nearly impossible to imagine living through nine years of war constant conflict. Let us pray fervently that it would soon end, and that the millions of Syrians who live in daily uncertainty might be able to return to a life of peace.
Your generous gifts enable World Renew’s work in Syria and Lebanon continue. As churches across Canada celebrate Canadian Foodgrains Bank Sunday on March 3, please consider supporting the lifesaving work that is taking place in Syria, Lebanon and many other countries.
In the header image, food aid has been loaded on trucks to be distributed to families