Sponsor a child

Syrians sponsor abandoned children

With child dropout rate on the rise in northern Syria, an increasing number of newborns in northwest Syria find themselves waking up on cold ground, or even outdoors.

In a conservative society where extra-marital relationships are not tolerated, deteriorating economic conditions are another reason for rising child abandonment rates, as many parents leave their children on the streets in the hope someone else would take care of it.

This has led to the emergence of a new generation of abandoned children of unknown parents in northwestern Syria.

Younes Abu Amin, supervisor of the case management team at Childcare organizationtold Al-Monitor that the organization was established more than a year and a half ago in the Sarmada region of northern Syria to care for abandoned children and provide them with basic services such as shelter, education and psychological support.

He said that after the children receive basic care, they try to find them a family.

“We first start looking for the biological family and if we can’t find that family, we start looking for another family, preferably the parents of the child like a grandfather or an uncle. If we are unable to trace the biological family, we resort to placement with another family,” he explained.

Abu Amin noted, “Families are divided into categories and then assessed to see which family is best able to provide the necessary care for an abandoned child.

He said the Child Home organization can accommodate up to 50 children. Since its inception, a total of 216 children have been offered a variety of services, including shelter, education, psychological support and reunification, among other services.

“We mainly focus on abandoned children whose parentage is unknown. Over the past few months, we have found an average of three to four newborn babies near mosques and health centers or on the roads,” he added.

Abu Amin said one of the reasons families abandon their children is either extreme poverty and displacement or adultery, which could lead to conflict and domestic violence. He said the number of children who do not receive proper care in northern Syria has increased compared to five years ago.

He pointed out that in order to limit the spread of this phenomenon, it is necessary to sensitize the community in order to consolidate values ​​and moral principles, as evidenced by the increase in the number of families wishing to sponsor children. “There are families who visit our center from time to time and sign up as sponsoring families wishing to look after children,” he said.

Abu Amin added, “Our main goal is to reunite the families once the children receive all the services offered by the organization.”

Ammar Salim, a 55-year-old sponsor from Sarmada who works as a storekeeper at the local council in Idlib, told Al-Monitor that he named the child he sponsored Noor, and she is now six months old. .

“I don’t have children and I had been trying for a long time. We hear a lot of cases of children being abandoned with unknown parents, and people living in camps because of poverty and because of the ongoing war,” he said.

Salim thinks sponsoring an abandoned child is humanitarian work and hopes he can meet all of Noor’s needs.

He noted that it is illegal to send these children to the streets and that he hopes they will be taken care of given the difficult circumstances in the area. “If I and others don’t help these issues, what will the lives of these children be like?” What would be in store for them and what fate would be in store for them? God only knows,” he added.

He said that when he sponsored Noor, her health was very poor, as she weighed only 600 grams (1 pound, 5 ounces). “We have no information about the child, but we learned that she was left outside a hospital in Sarmada,” he said.

Salim’s wife, Salwa Saeed Saeed, told Al-Monitor: “That’s the reason why I agreed to sponsor Noor. I have no children, and all I want is a child to raise and give love and affection to. It all happened without any planning, but I find myself loving it more and more every day. I can never imagine my life without her.

She said they wished Noor all the best and hoped that a good future was in store for her and that they would treat her as their own.

More than half of the children in Syria are deprived of education, and some of them have not received any education for 10 years. According UNICEFthere are more than 2.4 million children in Syria who have not received any education, of which approximately 40% are girls.

Since the beginning of the Syrian war, approximately 6 million Syrian children were born, and these children know nothing but war and displacement. On average, a child is killed every 10 hours due to violence in Syria.

The Syrian conflict since its outbreak in 2011 has claimed more than 387,000 lives, and the The United Nations counted the displacement of 6.7 million Syrians inside the country and 5.5 million outside.

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