Ahmed and his family are Syrian. They used to live in Marea, a small town near the capital of Aleppo that has been subjected to continuous bombing over the past few months. His youngest son became temporarily unable to speak when an aerial attack struck, blowing out their home’s windows and destroying part of the neighbouring school. Ahmed decided it was time to move to a safer location. They have been living at Baba Al-Salameh camp in northern Syria close to the Turkish border since November 2012. They arrived with very few belongings and temperatures have begun to plummet.
‘We left with few clothes and blankets so we are ill-equipped to face the winter cold,’ said Ahmed. ‘At the moment, it is raining everyday and at night the temperatures are close to zero. In addition, we have no heating system and no proper cooking facility; every time we want to boil water, we burn waste inside an old cooking can.’
As Syria’s civil war continues to escalate, many forms of violence and hardship continue to befall the millions of families like Ahmed’s. The Syrian Red Crescent say there are around 2.5 million internally displaced people (IDP).
ShelterBox worked with Solidarités International, a humanitarian organisation that provides aid and assistance to survivors of war or natural disaster, to bring lifesaving winter kits to IDPs at Al-Salameh camp including Ahmed and his family.
The winter kits were sent on a truck by ShelterBox through Turkey and were distributed by Solidarités International on 22-23 December.
‘Thanks to ShelterBox’s support, all 710 families staying at the camp received a winter kit with blankets, groundsheets, water carriers and jerry cans,’ said Sandra Lamarque from Solidarités International. ‘There were also kits given to the camp management authorities as a contingency for new families settling in the camp. The fuel stoves will be distributed in January when a fuel source is identified. Finally the hats, gloves and scarfs have been donated to the camp management who will distribute them to the most vulnerable families at Al-Salameh.
‘ShelterBox’s support has been invaluable and has helped Solidarités International start its activities at the camp without delay. The kits will improve displaced families’ resilience to the cold and access to safe drinking water.’