Ordeals of winter

 Emergency Response
 4th Jan 2017

By Laury Anne Bellessa, Media Manager at CARE France


"Winter is very tough for my sick mother. When she freezes, she vomits blood. We do everything we can to heat the apartment."

Talal lives in a two-room apartment in Mafraq with his mother and four siblings. Their apartment is small and humid. They have no furniture other than a few mattresses placed on the floor. Talal, 18, works every day in a restaurant to support his family. It is a heavy responsibility for a young man his age.

"My husband is still in Syria. He refused to leave the country without our eldest son who was imprisoned due to the conflict," said Hafetha, Talal's mother. "But we couldn’t stay because of the bombing. There were dead bodies and blood all over the street. We fled to another village but the situation was just as bad, so we left the country. "

Until today, this family has no news of those they left in their home nearby Homs, in Syria. Talal is in charge of taking care of his family. He earns US$ 350 a month, too little to support a family of six and be able to pay US$ 280 for rent.

"When we arrived in Jordan two years ago, we went to Zaatari refugee camp. But we only stayed there for a few weeks because the living conditions were too precarious. My mother's health deteriorated rapidly," Talal remembers.

"Winter is very tough for my mother. When she is cold, she vomits blood. We do everything we can to heat the apartment", says Talal. (Photo: Laury Anne Bellessa/CARE)


Hafetha suffers from a liver disease and has chronic stomach issues that make her suffer. To help ease her pain Hafetha’s family found this apartment in the town of Mafraq. In addition to the very little money that Talal makes they receive an equivalent of US$ 70 in monthly food vouchers from the World Food Programme and US$ 28 for medicine.

"When we arrived in Jordan, we had some savings but today we’re in debt of US$ 700. The help we receive is not enough for us to live without stress and in good health", says Talal.

CARE has supported Hafetha’s family for the past two years. This year, CARE provided them with a payment of US$ 525. With this money, the family can prepare for winter and cover their most urgent needs, such as Hafetha's healthcare. But the family is also worried about her psychological conditions.

"I miss my past life. In Syria, we lived like kings. My country is the only thing I think about when I put my head on this pillow. Today, all I want is to be buried in Syria when I die," Hafetha whispers.

She sighs when she hears her children talk about their lack of hope for the future.

"Before, we could plan for our future but not anymore. Today, it is just the everyday life that worries us," says Talal.

Ghalia, the eldest daughter, continues to hope that she can return to school. At 14, she stays at home to take care of her mother all day.

"We wish to have a normal life again. What we want today is to be resettled to another country so we can go to school, work, and live decently," explains Talal. "But our most important dream is for the war to end so we can return to Syria."


Read more about CARE's work in Syria here.

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