Bridge of Peace Syria was so happy to hear that on November 22nd a large truck load of thick, warm blankets arrived at the Al Waleed Refugee Camp in northern Syria, and just in time. As the temperatures dip below freezing at night the over 300 children and elderly now have protection from cold that comes through the thin plastic tents and the damp that comes up from the dirt floors.
It was quite an occasion as people began to que up once they heard that the truck was about to arrive. Women and children were on hand to greet Tamer, along with the two helpers he recruited to keep the blankets from falling off of the truck on the journey, when he arrived. Tamer handed off the blankets that were then taken to each of the nearly 100 tents in the camp. Afterward, Tamer gathered together with a group of the children who danced and sang in a kind of celebration.
In addition to the 320 blankets, Tamer also made an initial purchase of 75 warm winter jackets with another 100+ to be delivered by the first week in December. Many of the children do not have jackets to keep them warm and this is a priority now that the blankets were completely delivered.
Shoes and socks are also a big concern. Most of the children are either barefoot, wear flip flops / sandals or worn rubber boots. Besides the issue of the cold, snow and ice, there is also the water and mud factor. When the temperatures are above freezing and it rains, the entire camp becomes a muddy mess that covers everyone’s feet as well as the floors of the tents themselves. And, as potable water is in limited supply, most of it is allocated for drinking. Tamer has told us that most people in the camp get to bathe perhaps twice throughout the entire winter which means that feet are left unwashed as well which gives rise to fungus and other skin diseases. Because of this, we are determined to try and get shoes for each child very soon.