Providing Shelter for Syrian Refugees

5 July 2019

Abdul builds a shelter with materials from ShelterBox and Latter-day Saint Charities.

Throughout Idlib, Syria, and its surrounding countryside, many Syrians are left without shelter after being forced from their homes. After each displacement wave, dozens of camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are constructed on the Syrian-Turkish border. Most of these families have lost everything.

Abdul Hakim is a tailor by profession. He’s from Homs Province, Syria, and like many people in Syria, he has been displaced often; for Abdul, it’s happened ten times in six years. His displacement journey started when the fighting and battles reached his city. Tragically, Abdul lost his right forearm and his livelihood when a tank bomb targeted the home where he, his parents, and his siblings were hiding.

After two weeks on the road, Abdul and his family reached a safe area. There he tried to resume his normal life and started working in a factory. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long until planes started launching rockets there, targeting his new home.

Abdul and his family left and moved to another location in Lebanon near the Syrian-Lebanese border. There, in a camp for IDPs, he and his family managed to get a tent, and they restarted their lives. His eldest brother was supporting the family but could not afford everyone’s living expenses, so to help with his family’s financial needs Abdul began working in the camp. Because of his missing forearm he could no longer practice his profession as a tailor, so he worked as a grocer.

The living conditions of Abdul’s family gradually improved inside of the camp until his family was forced once again to leave everything behind. Their camp was being targeted with air-strikes and shelling, and it was no longer safe.

The family moved to a house in the countryside of Idlib, Syria, paying rent with the money they had saved during their last two months in the previous camp. Unfortunately, Abdul was unable to find work. Faced with high living costs, the family ran out of money.

No longer able to afford house rent, Abdul and his family decided to reduce their expenses, rent land, and construct their own shelter.

Hand in Hand for Syria, an organization based in Syria and supported by ShelterBox as an implementing partner, provided Abdul with a ShelterKit and wood to construct a temporary home for his family. Hand in Hand and ShelterBox would not have been able to provide Abdul with these supplies without a grant provided by Latter-day Saint Charities to support this project.

Now that Abdul has a safe home for his family, his ultimate hope is to get a smart artificial arm so that he can carry on his profession as a tailor and help improve his family’s living conditions.

After that he will look for a wife and start a family.

Photos and story provided by ShelterBox