By Bella DiFilippo*
The ongoing civil war in Syria has internally displaced more than 6 million civilians. Through support from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), families struggling with unstable security situations and exhausted by harsh living conditions are finding some relief.
Recipients share information about their living conditions with relief workers from IOCC and partner organization, GOPA – DERD. PHOTO COURTESY OF IOCC
Seliman is one such person. He is struggling to care for his two grandchildren after their parents died during an attack on Aleppo, Syria, and couldn’t afford to buy soap, toothpaste, and other personal care items the children needed.
“Thank God, my house was not destroyed by the attacks, but my work has been negatively affected,” said Seliman. “Before the crisis, I used to work in a construction workshop; however, I lost my job, and I became totally dependent on aid offered by NGOs [nongovernmental organizations]. You have no idea how very important the [hygiene] kits are to me and my grandchildren.”
In Aleppo, Syria, a mother receives nonfood essential items from an IOCC employee. PHOTO COURTESY OF IOCC
A $90,000 grant from UMCOR provided hygiene, infant, dignity, and bedding kits for vulnerable people in Aleppo who were forced to leave their homes because of the seven-year war. UMCOR provides assistance through two implementing partner organizations, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and the Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development (DERD), the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch.
After receiving relief-supply kits, recipients return to their families to share the much-needed items. PHOTO COURTESY OF IOCC
“I knew from friends that my house in Al Shaar (a neighborhood in eastern Aleppo) had been destroyed, but, thank God, we are still alive,” said Khalil, a father of five. “It’s hard for me to secure most of my family’s needs. … However, I received bedding kits from IOCC/DERD, which made me and my wife so happy. We are so grateful.”
UMCOR works globally to alleviate human suffering and advance hope and healing.
*Bella DiFilippo is communication specialist for Mission Engagement from Global Ministries