Syria: Bridges of Trust

20 February 2019

Yara Kasouha, of the Damascus Visit Team, talking with a young boy during a home visit. (Jesuit Refugee Service)

Yara Kasouha, a member of the home visit team in Damascus, expresses her love for her daily volunteering work. Each day she encounters new faces, different situations, sad and joyous news from these families. It’s wonderful to her that she – with the home visit team – are welcomed into the families’ homes. It is not only JRS that welcomes, but the families also welcome us in their homes, and that means a great deal to us. It is a reciprocal welcoming as we listen to them carefully, give them advice and help them deal with their feelings. They honor the team with their trust, because they are now their guests. When a family sees there is someone knocking their door to ask about their health, their safety, their well-being they know they are cared for, they know they are not forgotten.

It is also essential the families know and feel they are being heard, that their opinions matter. We seek knowledge from them and give them the possibility to take part in implementing project. Visiting the families as a first step has been the candle that lights every project’s journey.

Visiting is my mission in life. Through it I live my humanity. It means happiness for me, because we can listen to the reality and then deliver it.
Yara Kasouha, Damascus Visit Team

“The families are surprised when they realize that we there just to assess their conditions, that there is no personal gain from the visits, but only concern about them,” said Rita Kalaghasi of the Aleppo Visit Team.”It is very unique, the impression that our accompaniment visits have been leaving in the community.”

The difficulties are somehow overcome when there is a simple and reciprocal smile. The most beautiful thing is to find that smile which touches our hearts and give safety and confidence between us and them. Standing with each other is what unites our hopes and hearts, our accompaniment is a key that allows us to communicate and knock the doors of all cultures to build a bridge between people.