About the Refugees
During our missions, we have mostly encountered women and children whose husbands and fathers stayed behind in order to keep the struggle alive. The refugees we’ve met have fallen into three main categories:
Syrians traveling legally: These refugees carry legal documents and valid passports, and usually belong to the higher socio-economic classes. They cross the border legally and go through a short military investigation. They are then released and able to rent homes and build lives in the host country.
Syrians traveling illegally: These refugees are usually from a lower socio-economic status, illegally cross the borders, do not go through military investigations and are not processed or listed. They try desperately to blend and disappear into the local villages. Therefore, they are not eligible for any aid because they do not officially reside anywhere.
Detainees: This includes healthy men, women and children who have been caught by local armies in neighboring countries and are held in army bases for an uncertain time. They are subject to rigorous investigation and their numbers are unknown. Rumors among other refugees state that some are even forced returned to Syria and turned over to Assad. It goes without saying that their fate is then known.
The Needs for Those Displaced in Syria:
The banking system collapsed in Syria and most rebel families could not access their funds. Therefore, all these people have taken with them is their gold and a few precious belongings. It has been over two years and these limited resources to support an entire family have diminished.
Women face severe post traumatic stress from losing their husbands, taking full responsibility of their families, rape, and homelessness. Abortions are not permitted in Syria or in any of the neighboring Arab countries, forcing them to choose between their husbands and babies. If their husbands return home, they might be forced to make an “accident” happen.
These are not women from the third-world, but women who went to the supermarket and worked only two years ago. Now, they are struggling to fight for their own lives and their children’s lives.
Children are also facing post traumatic stress. Many have seen their mothers violently raped, while their mothers have begged for them to remain silent to prevent further harm. They are also constantly faced with adjusting to a new environment.
All basic supplies are needed. There is lack of water, sanitary items, medical equipment, food, and housing. Some of the most common things we have seen are open and infected wounds, eye infections, and amputated, broken bones.