Al Waleed, like other refugee camps in northern Syria, are increasing in population as refugees continue to leave their cities throughout the country, fleeing from barrel bombs and Russian airstrikes. The demand for shelter greatly out-paces the supply. Many new arrivals live under make-shift tarps and suspended sheets of corrugated metal while others manage to cope with the elements in worn, ripped and dilapidated tents.
Al Waleed has literally doubled in population in just one year. On December 10th, 2015 Bridge of Peace Syria successfully completed a Well Water Project that is now supplying the 1500 refugees with safe, clean drinking water. Now, we are shifting our attention to the surging need for adequate housing. Faced with the option of replacing old, worn out tents for a cost of $210 each we were recently presented with another option: Why not build permanent structures, one room “Micro-Homes”, 4×5 meters that can house a family with up to 5 persons for nearly the same amount of money? We were shocked to discover this was possible! “YES”, was our answer.
We learned that construction materials, sand, cement and bricks (concrete blocks), are amazingly inexpensive in Syria and for $250 that includes a stove with fuel, labor and transportation costs can pay for the building of a house that will withstand winds, torrential rains and blistering heat without wear on materials, such as the canvas of tents. These houses will be built to last and last they must as sadly, the war and its prospective aftermath in Syria has no end in sight.
We immediately sent money to our project manager, Shareef Oubaid who got to work and has already completed two “Pilot Houses”. Each house has a living space, a kitchen area with running water and a separate area for a toilet. Homes come equipped with a concrete floor, wooden door, a stove for heating,one small window and a corrugated metal roof.
One of our primary concerns was the selection process of how a family qualifies to receive a home. What we discovered is that selections will be done through a decision-making process by members of Al Waleed’s governing committee along with the camp director and our project manager. The poorest families, those in greatest need, will be chosen for occupancy.
OUR GOAL IS TO BUILD 14 HOMES
An assessment done by Shareef, our project manager, calls for an immediate need of 14 more homes. With the cold winter nearly upon them, the need of shelter for refugees, especially those with young children, is most urgent. The cost of building these homes, including labor, will be $6,140. Imagine the impact you can make in the lives of a Syrian refugee family for a relatively small amount of money; helping them stay warm and dry during the harshness of winter can be a life-saving gift.
If you can, by making a donation of $307 you can sponsor the building of an entire house or, a smaller amount that will pay for a building component. Here is an itemized budget for the construction of a single home.
TOTAL CONSTRUCTION COST OF A SINGLE HOUSE: $307
- $ 80 450 Bricks (cinder blocks)
- $ 45 Cement and Sand
- $ 25 Door Steel Tubes and Fabric Panels for Roof
- $ 40 Stove for Heating and Cost of Fuel for One Month
- $ 10 Transportation of Materials
- $ 30 Worker Wages
- $ 50 Project Manager Fee $307 Total Cost Per House
Bridge of Peace hopes you will open your heart in this New Year to families in the Al Waleed Refugee Camp and either donate the cost to build an entire home or sponsor the cost of a house component. Your generous, tax-exempt donation can be made on-line by clicking HERE. Or, you may send a check to: Bridge of Peace Syria, PO Box 3133 Fayetteville, AR 72702 USA.