„We lived in our new house only six months,“ tells Rima from Syria

Illustrative picture.

When Rima (57yrs old) sought out our partnership organisation Caritas Czech Republic in Damascus, she was confused and scared. She asked for help. „ We ran away from our house empty-handed. Now we live in a dwelling where it is too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. I got to know about you and I would like to ask for a ventilator,“ she told us. She received the ventilator and afterwards humanitarian workers visited Mrs Rima.

She lives with her two children - Jodee (daughter, 21yrs old) and Bassel (son, 18yrs old). Together with her husband they owned a beautiful house in Homs Province. All that is left is a battle field right now. When the war started in the town in 2012 they ran to Damascus where they looked for a suitable dwelling.

„In the time of happy living in Homs my husband was an engineer and had a well-paid job. Thanks to that we had all what we dreamt about. We moved to our own house with happiness and left my husband ´s parents on their own.

“One day we heard the sound of battle. It got closer and closer. Next day our neighbourhood was under siege by fighters and they shut off all electricity and water. Many people ran away but it was a very cold weather at the time and we didn´t have any portable heating. When my husband returned back from patrol, he told us to run away if the situation doesn´t change. After one week of suffering one of our neighbours told us that we could leave but we would have to pay and wait for a car arriving at five in the morning.

“One day later, we left our new house where we had lived only six months. We left behind new furniture, our lives and memories. Sadness filled our hearts. We left for Damascus and rented a house in the countryside. We couldn´t get used to it. But my heart was filled with happiness when our daughter was admitted to the Faculty of Pharmacy. All our efforts were then aimed at the education of our children and improving their lives.

“One year later my husband was injured by a grenade. He had to be transported to the hospital where he died of a heart attack one week later. The sadness returned to us, our eyes were full of tears. We had lost our house designed by him and now we lost him as well.

“Two months ago we moved again because the owner of the house in Damascus decided to raise the rental price. We hardly could pay for the current one. Widow´s pension barely cover our needs and school fees are high. The only thing I want now is education for my children so that they can build their career in the future, although we lost everything. I pray to God to give me power to open the pharmacy for my daughter and to rebuild our house.

“The face of my son Bassel visibly reflects the sadness of lost dreams and prospects lost for the future. I look for a job now so that I can help my mother with household expenses. But I lost the chance to run my own business.“

Rima stays a strong woman despite the displacement, poverty, loss of her husband and her house. She tries to maintain her belief that they will get all over it together. She prays to God to keep them safe and well and she expresses warm thanks to Caritas workers who helped her family with material aid.

The situation in the country hasn´t improved. On the contrary the prospect of conflict reassurance melted away at the end of September as the ceasefire negotiated between combatants wasn´t successful.

Caritas Czech Republic delivers material aid to Syrian Damascus through Damascus Humanitarian Organisation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic has supported this project financially.