Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Lebanon face another harsh winter.
In Nahr El Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon, many do not have winter clothing and boots to cope with the cold, wet conditions of the camp. But with the support of generous donors, including a small non-profit organization called Al Amal, ANERA is helping to ease this burden.
As part of ANERA’s winterization program, more than 2,300 children in northern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley recently received winter jackets, shirts, pants, hats and boots.
Young Refugees in Lebanon Thankful for a Timely Gift
Five-year-old Taha, a Palestinian refugee living in Nahr El Bared, has struggled with the winter cold as he trudges to his school near the sea. “I walk to school and back home every day. The streets are wide and the cold wind blows at me all the time,” he says.
Taha goes to the Children and Youth Center (CYC), ANERA’s community-based partner in the camp. In early December, he and his classmates got a timely gift: a big white bag full of clothes to keep them warm and dry. “With these boots I can take a walk with my father down the road and ride the small trains there,” he smiles. Taha will share his kit with his two older brothers, “These clothes will help protect us from cold when we walk by the shore and when we come home my mother will make us lentil soup, my favorite winter dish.”
The CYC caters to Palestinian refugee children from Syria and Lebanon who come from underprivileged social backgrounds.
“Most of the students come from poor families, some have lost their parents in the Syrian war and some suffer from chronic and respiratory illnesses,” explains Samar Wehbe, the center’s manager. “Tuition fees are nominal. The children and their parents rely mostly on donations to survive so these clothes will help them cope with the harsh winter.”
In addition to warm clothes, ANERA’s winterization program provides blankets and quilts, emergency lights, hygiene kits and baby kits to help refugees in Lebanon deal with the wet, cold winter. Dima Zayat, ANERA’s health program manager, says the humanitarian relief reaches the most vulnerable families – especially those living in makeshifts homes, barracks and tents. “We can never forget last January when three Syrian refugee children froze to death in their tents. The good quality items we provide are making a difference and saving lives.”