Refugees make new clothes for their young neighbors
“I wish to live with my kids and husband in a safe place where I can provide everything my children need.” — Umm Nasser, a Syrian refugee living in North Lebanon
In late May, Anera provided new children’s clothes to vulnerable families in Lebanon, helping them celebrate the eid marking the end of Ramadan this year. Eid Al Fitr is a time when parents traditionally give their children new clothes.
The stylish eid clothes are made by young refugees enrolled in Anera’s vocational sewing courses.
Umm Nasser and her family live in a tent in the Minieh informal refugee camp outside of Tripoli, in North Lebanon.
Her children were thrilled to receive new clothes we brought, jumping up and down and giggling with pleasure. Marwa Al Saadi, our field coordinator for the area, distributed the clothes to the family. She said,
“Their happiness is indescribable! As soon as I handed them the clothes they ran inside to change and then they ran back out to show me how good they look in their new eid clothes.”
Umm Nasser tells us the story of how she came to be in Lebanon.
“We come from Homs and we have been in Lebanon since 2013. We ran for our lives to get here. The war was very very cruel to us. My husband is ill, mentally and emotionally. His brother was killed in front of him. He watched him die. He can’t work. He’s on permanent medication."
Her family is surviving in extremely difficult circumstances.
“How do I make money? You mean how do we survive? Well, I have a 10-year-old son. He works on the highway, selling tissue papers or flowers. Sometimes he manages to collect some change. It’s enough for bread. They say the father is the rock of the house and the mother gives love, but I have to be both the father and the mother: strong and compassionate.”
Asked about life in the camp, she is pensive and matter-of-fact.
“We thank God almighty, but our situation is... [she trails off and remains silent for a solid minute]. Well, a lot is missing. The kids don’t care though, they are mostly happy, always playing.”
Umm Nasser knows that returning to Syria is not practical for the foreseeable future. She says her biggest hope is to “live with my kids and husband in a safe place where I can provide everything my children need.”
Anera produced and distributed these clothes as part of our youth empowerment project, in partnership with UNICEF and funded by Germany through the German Development Bank KfW.