“We were up late one night and out of nowhere the bombing started,” says Fadi, 15-years-old. “The airstrikes destroyed his home and the homes of his neighbours, and hit him. “I felt my arm come off and the blood was gushing out of it.”
He was rushed to one of the few hospitals still operating in the region and the medical staff there saved his life. Sadly, this is a common sight for doctors in the area – Tens of thousands of children are estimated to have been killed and injured in the 10 years of conflict in Syria. Many more have been orphaned and made homeless.
Story continues after "In Short"
- Nearly one million people have been forced to flee conflict in Idlib, Syria, since December 2019. More than half of them are children.
- Fadi lost his arm from an airstrike that destroyed his family’s home.
- He now works to provide what he can for his family, as they rebuild their life in a camp for displaced people.
Fadi lived with his family in what was his grandparents’ home before the airstrikes. After their house was destroyed, they made their way to an overcrowded displacement camp north of the city, where he and his family made their home in a tent. “We are new here, and we don’t know anyone,” says Fadi, now 15.
The family lives meal to meal. Without food aid, they might have nothing to eat all day. One day he’d like to have an artificial limb for his right arm, but for now food tops the list of priorities.
“Everything is expensive,” Fadi says. His father died 5 years ago from a stroke, so he and one of his brothers work when they can to provide for their family, but after the loss of his arm, the largely manual labor is incredibly challenging.
Fadi and kids in camps like these are not only missing the basic securities of food and shelter: on February 25th, ten schools and kindergartens were reported to have been bombed. An estimated 280,000 children in the area are out of education as a result.
Johan Mooij is World Vision Syria’s Response Director, working with children like Fadi. “[They] come to us on a daily basis in Syria, hungry, cold and deeply distressed by what they have witnessed and experienced,” says Mooij. “We are working to support them, but I cannot reiterate enough: only a lasting ceasefire can put an end to this misery.”
On March 5, 2020, the governments of Turkey and Russia announced a ceasefire in Idlib. The people of Idlib, like Fadi and his family, are watching and waiting, hoping it holds.
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