Having to flee her homeland Syria, Shamsa arrived to Lebanon without most of her belongings, three years ago. To make matters worse, her husband abandons her and their children eight months ago, leaving them wondering about his whereabouts and their own survival in Lebanon. With vague future and poor living conditions, all that Shamsa cares about now is her seven children.
"Ever since my husband left us, I have no one, it’s only me and my children,” she expresses with a sad look on her face. “I am trying my best to be able to provide for my children, I am working any job I can find; cleaning houses, land work and whatever else I can find,” she adds.
Shamsa and her family witnessed some horrible situations in Syria, which, till this day leave them distressed. “My son Abdallah saw a man being killed, and this affected his mental state. He is almost always afraid of something bad happening,” Shamsa explains. “He is having a difficult time learning, or even making friends. But now thanks to World Vision’s programme, I can sense Abdallah’s progress”, she adds.
Abdallah, 13, and his siblings; Abdul Rahman, eight, Hussein, four, Abed Al Halim, seven, and Kawthar 10 benefit from World Vision’s Early Childhood Education programme for children under six years old (ECE) as well as the Psychosocial Support (PSS) programme for children aged between six and twelve years old. The children are not the only beneficiaries, Shamsa, benefits also from the capacity building sessions where she is provided with awareness sessions around positive parenting in topics such as: child protection, the importance of schooling for children, and discussions around child labor and early marriage.
"I learned a lot of new things which I was not aware of before, such as the safe places to play in, my rights and other topics,” says Abdallah about the PSS sessions he takes part in. “I really like the programme; we play games and do some coloring. I even made new friends. When I grow up, I want to work with World Vision and help other children who went through similar,” he adds with a smile on his face.
Abdallah is also enrolled in a school; it is his first year of formal education since he was not able to enroll in a school in Lebanon before. “I have noticed that he is able to learn now. I just want my children to have a proper education, because from my experience, education is the key for their future,” says Shamsa. “All I care about now is my children, so thank you World Vision for helping my family when I am unable to do it alone,” she adds.
With the support of World Vision’s supporters in the United States, 141 children benefited from World Vision’s psychosocial support sessions as well as 101 caregivers were provided with positive parenting sessions.