After eight years of intense fighting, communities in Syria are re-emerging from the rubble.
Tearfund’s Middle East Response Director, Kieren Barnes, recently traveled to Syria to meet with our partners and plan how best we can serve people as they look to the future.
Kieren describes what is was like to arrive in a bustling, busy and developed Damascus: "It was hard to believe this was the same battered and broken Syria that we’ve grown used to seeing in the media. That is until we began traveling on the road out of the capital."
“The suffering that’s taken place has left scars beyond the broken buildings.”
Huge parts of Damascus have been destroyed, and in Homs and Aleppo collapsed apartment blocks lie everywhere. And yet, people are returning to these empty streets and crumbling buildings, determined to pick up the pieces of their lives.
In areas where there's been the most destruction, the pain is tangible. People are trying to move forward, but the suffering that’s taken place has left scars beyond the broken buildings.
Tearfund has mostly been working in Lebanon and Jordan, serving Syrian refugees by providing food and shelter, and offering trauma counseling. But we have now been registered to set up an office in Syria. It means we can employ local people who know their country better than anybody, and we can support them as they, in turn, support their communities where more than six million people are still displaced.
Traveling the road together
"In a village just outside Homs, I saw the difference that livelihood-training and investment is making. People were starting up small shops, beauty salons, car repair services. One family we spoke with had been forced to flee from ISIS twice. For the first time in many years, they felt secure about their future," says Kieren.
Among the ruins, lives and communities are being restored. It's going to be a long road but, thanks to our registered status, it’s a road that Tearfund will be traveling with the people of Syria.
• Ask God for the resources and for the right staff as Tearfund grows its work in Syria.
• As staff and volunteers travel around the country, pray for their safety.
• Pray for Tearfund to have wisdom as we develop our strategy in Syria.