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ALEPPO

The JRS team in Aleppo continues with its unstinted support to the affected people in the area, despite many obstacles.

On March 1st , 800 families in Al-Fardous eastern Aleppo, were given essential items like hygiene kits & equipment, gas cooker, woollen socks and underwear.

This was followed by more than 100 families in Jibreen (also in eastern Aleppo) being provided with gas cylinders.

Jabal Badro is a new distribution point in eastern Aleppo, which provides hot cooked and nutritious meals for almost 900 affected families daily.

Of late there is a relative calm in Aleppo (sounds of violence can be heard occasionally though). The residents feel a bit relieved because the electricity supply has now improved (two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening).

There is also hope that there will be a further improvement in the days to come. With the overall security situation having become much better one of the returnees says, “thank God we are more secure now, we are now able to face the many other challenges that lie ahead!”.

HOMS

The JRS Team in Homs continued uninterruptedly with its activities inspite of some recent explosions in neighbourhoods in the vicinity.

The recent highlights included: The ‘end of the school year’ celebration for the children was a great occasion for the children to show their parents, other family members and friends all that they had imbibed over the year. They sang songs of peace, danced for joy with their beautiful smiles which lit up their angelic faces. In doing so, they enkindled the flame of hope and peace in all those gathered.

There was a graduation party for the women who participated in literacy and handcraft Workshops. These workshops have had a positive impact on their lives and have opened them to newer horizons. “I used to feel bad because I could not read a letter, now I can recognize and read the names of my medicines and I need no one’s help for that. I now have self-confidence and feel very satisfied”, says Omaya Harah a woman who participated in the literacy workshop at the Al-Kafroun centre.

DAMASCUS

Damascus was rudely awakened in the early hours of Sunday 2nd July with bombings which took place in Tahreer square, Al-Baitara circle and near the Faculty of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. Several people lost their lives in these attacks.

Besides there have been some other sporadic attacks/explosions recently. Notwithstanding all this, the common people show a tremendous amount of resilience to get on with their lives and to live in a more peaceful environment.

The JRS team in Damascus continues accompanying the affected people through a host of activities and programmes. Among those held recently were:

An enjoyable four-day programme in the last week of May at the Ibrahim Khalil Monastery in Keshkul for the children who come to the JRS Centres. It was truly ‘end of the school year’ celebration for the children. They radiated joy throughout .Some children came with their mothers and proudly demonstrated to them what they have learnt coming to the JRS centres. It was a memorable and happy event not only for the children, but also for their parents and for the animators.

Summer activities for the children are in full swing at the JRS Centres. The children are provided opportunities for joyful learning, improve their talents and engage in a hobby. Shahed Shbeib, a girl from the JRS Damascus centre, sums her experience beautifully, “This summer was different for me... Being in JRS centre with friends, brothers and sisters gave me another feeling, another hope, a different meaning! I do love everything here, the playing, the activities, the drawing... Every day brings new hope to me”.

Through these many activities JRS is truly opening doors for the children.

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