What a journey !

Publié le : 03.01.2019

« What a journey, yeah ? »
This question pulled Kareem, 8 years old, back from his thoughts and gave Firas, one of SOS reunification strengthening project members (RSP), a genuine smile. Firas, who asked the question, was in one of the RSP team’s regular visits to check on Kareem. Kareem’s journey was a really hard one, from escaping his father and fleeing Aleppo, the dangerous city at that time, with his one year older brother Bader, then arriving to Damascus and suddenly getting lost from Bader. Now imagine an eight years old child lost in a city he doesn’t know, alone, with no money and no one to go to. He kept straying in the streets until the police found him. Kareem refused to tell the police anything, he was scared that they would give him back to his father. So the police decided to put Kareem in the custody of an SOS Interim Care Center.

From there Kareem’s life took a completely different turn. At the beginning Kareem continued his silence, he didn’t trust anyone, refused to answer questions and preferred to be alone. Later and with the efforts of the psychologist of the SOS center Kareem started to respond and tell his story. Based on what Kareem said, Miss Zeina, the psychologist that the boy has an uncle living in Damascus. She gave that information to the RSP team. “For us, it was a mission, we had to find Kareem’s uncle, to know that we did everything we could for the child,” said Firas. A few months later, the hard work of the RSP team showed results, they had found the uncle. This was good news for Kareem but the great news was that Bader his older brother was already there with the uncle. The reunification between the two brothers was eyes tearing, the uncle was really affected and expressed his desire to have Kareem to live with him, but his problem was that he could not afford another child in the family next to Bader and his own.

That was when the RSP team fully took over the case of Kareem; they helped the uncle to open a small project (grocery shop) to support him financially. As for Kareem and his older brother the program provided them with a monthly allowance, registered them back in school and helped them with tuition, school expenses and medical insurance in addition to psychosocial support. “Our program focuses mainly on reuniting children with their biological or extended families and keeps supporting them if they need, because every child deserve to live with a loving family and to grow up and follow his dreams, “said Mr. Samaan the RSP officer.

With that genuine smile still on his face Kareem answered Firas: “Yeah, what a journey, thank you for finding my uncle and my brother, thank you for helping me.”.

Today Kareem is a third grade student, very good at school, he and his brother live with the family of his uncle in an area near Damascus. Kareem is a child that SOS was able to give a chance to catch up with his life again.

* Les noms des enfants ont été modifiés pour protéger leur vie privée.
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