Cheating death three times

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Grateful, hopeful and determined - these are the words that describe the Syrians World Vision Syria Response talked to over the years. As they recall the challenges they endured, they tell tales of strength combined with heartache. These incidents taught them to look at the 'silver lining'.


It's not just about falling back. This devastating war was eating away at their existence and stealing years from their lives. As they try to establish some sense of meaningless reality, they hang on to threads of hope.

Nader* is an 11-year-old child who set another example of resilience. He stared death in the eyes and survived, and when he thought he could live normally, death knocked on the door of his most loved ones.

Circling back to the hundreds of people Syria Response interviewed, we take pride in their achievements and milestones. With every story we cover, we learn why Syria keeps birthing resilient people, because, they’re hopeful, they take care of one another and live as one entity.

As for Nader, society didn’t fail him and stood by him, helping him find support when death called his name way too soon.

Nader was involved in a traumatising car accident two years ago. “A cargo truck hit me and caused serious injuries forcing me to seek medical care for two years, Nader says. He was a young child crossing the roads when wrong timing mixed with wrong circumstances created an accident.

He needed to seek urgent intervention to save his life. His parents frantically rushed him to hospitals across Northwest Syria pleading them to save their child. However, his situation was far worse than what these humble hospitals could offered. Someone suggested them to seek care in Türkiye, otherwise, they could lose their child.

After submitting the necessary papers, Nader was at the hospital receiving medical care and on his way to recovery. A while later, the family travelled back to Syria knowing that all Nader needed were frequent operations to monitor his condition and follow-up consultations. “I still visit the hospital here once in a while,” he testifies.

But, recovery meant precious years of education were slipping away and he became one of the 2.4 million children who dropped out of school in Syria to reasons out of his hand.

Meanwhile, his mother was worried about his future. “She reached out to us at World Vision Syria Response's Education Centre in Northwest Syria to discuss his situation and possibility to return to school,” mentions Nader’s teacher in the centre. “We care about children’s future, so we set up a catch-up and enrolled him. Due to the circumstances he had two years of education to catch up”.

There was also another elephant in the room, the emotional trauma Nader had been through after the accident. “Nader has been through a horrific accident so we had to address that in the centre. We enrolled him in the psychological support sessions and taught him ways to overcome negative emotions and react healthy,” the teacher adds.

These sessions also unearthed terrors Nader witnessed during the earthquake and he opened up about that day. “I woke up to drink a glass of water only to feel the house shaking. One minute our house was moving and all other buildings were on the ground,” he recalls.

Slowly, Nader was feeling like himself again and the centre became his second home. “I love the teachers here; they are the nicest! He was also making progress at school.

However, Nader’s resilience was going to be tested again. His father passed away. That was a complete shock for him. As he was trying to establish a stable life, his father's departure, left him feeling empty yet again. That’s when the teacher knew her presence would be needed more than ever, she immediately stepped in for support, providing a warm shoulder to lean on, ensuring he gets the psychological support he needs and the inclusion from his friends.

Thankfully, he was around people who genuinely cared about him and held his hand through these difficult times. “Nader’s an intelligent child despite all the challenges he went through, he’s well-spoken and he integrated well with his colleagues” his teacher says. He also expresses how much he adores schools, “I love going to school. I even want to be a doctor to help and care for people who’ve been hurt like me”.

Nader has the future in front of him, we applaud his dream of being a doctor knowing Syria desperately needs passionate people like him.

The project is a light in the middle of a dark pathway for children like Nader who’ve been through unfathomable situations. It offers psychological support and education for 17,514 other children thanks to funding from Syria Cross-Border Humanitarian Fund.

*Name is changed to protect identity.


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