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"We have suffered much and also discriminated against in the schools; here at the JRS Center everyone is our brother and sister. They love us, and we love them all." - Rama

Kafroun, 31 May 2018 – “We had to move at least twenty times from one place to another. When we finally returned to our ‘original home’ it had been completely burned down and destroyed” says Rama a thirteen year old girl, from Homs, Syria. After fleeing from one place to the next due to horrific violence, Rama and her family are back in Homs, but living in a destroyed home with no doors or windows and little access to electricity or water. To add further stress, Rama’s father is not employed, so their family finances are very tight. The war has also interrupted her schooling, and Rama is facing some of the mental health consequences of her trauma – becoming violent and withdrawn, hardly smiling or interacting with others.

Rama’s story is not unique. Millions of children in Syria have come under attack and had their lives turned upsidedown. According to UNICEF, 8.4 million Syrian children, inside and outside of Syria are in need of humanitarian aid and millions have been born in the middle of the brutal conflict that began more than six years ago. These children have been living in the midst of violence; having to flee from one place to another seeking safety and security. Deprived of their childhood and experiencing significant trauma, one in four Syrian refugee children are at risk for developing significan mental health issues (click here to read Save The Children’s research, Invisible Wounds).

JRS is working across Syria to ensure children like Rama, who have experienced serious trauma, have the tools and education that they need. In Damascus, JRS is currently providing summer activities for over 90 children in the midst of current violence - offering opportunities for joyful learning  and activities such as singing, music, theater, and art. In Aleppo, JRS is working to ensure that children have their essential needs met with distribution of food, gas cookers, clothing, and hygiene kits.

In Homs, JRS has three centers, all of which offer education and activities for children. When they returned to Homs, Rama was enrolled in the JRS program. At first, she had a difficult time, refusing to mix with other children and preferring isolation, but the JRS social worker and staff worked closely with Rama and her family to help her regain her self-esteem.

Rama’s mother is unable to hide her joy and gratitude to JRS for all that they have done for Rama. “All what we ask is the safety of our children; you at JRS have provided it; you have warmly welcomed us; you have accompanied us,” she says, “above all, you have returned to me my Rama, the lovely girl that I used to know.”

Rama dreams of a bright future. Her joy and laughter is contagious and can be heard through out the JRS center – the sound of the return of hope. 

For this World Refugee Day, June 20, 2018, JRS/USA is asking you, our friends and supporters, to join us in calling on the President to stand with and support our Syrian brothers and sisters. Help us remind him and the Administration that we continue to have a responsibility to take humanitarian action during this crisis. 



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