Syria erupted in 2011 and every passing year only added to the miseries and horror of the Syrian people, children being at the center of it. Haunted and tortured by the ongoing violence against innocent lives on daily basis, we, a group of like-minded friends, finally decided to do something about it…whatever that can be done!
In 2016 we started our first project of distributing medicines to refugees living in informal tents in Akkar, north of Lebanon.
In Akkar we joined hands with Mrs. Asma Rasamny of Malaak, who runs a wonderful informal education center for primary school children.
Along the way, we teamed up with Mrs.Nimat Bizri, working under the umbrella of Social Support Society, who runs 3 schools in Beka valley in Lebanon.
And then there was no looking back! Since then we have supported Nutrition programs, like funding Al Malaak kitchen whenever possible, distribution of Iftar meals, and food baskets, supplying winter jackets to children in harsh winters but more than anything else we were able to support 51 children, many of them orphans, so that they could go to school and not wander around on the streets trying to look for some menial work. And it felt we touched where it hurts the most!
Hold My Hand is all about such children! To be able carry on with the work of supporting helpless and traumatized children who have nowhere to turn to.
The need to support these children is overwhelming…..and the need to act is urgent……today we should come together to feed them, protect them, educate them….and guide them so that they can be independent, self-sufficient and positive citizens of the community they are living in.
We need you ……..we need you to extend your hands to our children!
During our interactions with refugee communities over a period of last 2 years, we have learnt first-hand that the vulnerable of the most vulnerable are children! So we have decided to focus all our efforts and energies to create a safe and violence free living and learning environment for these children.
We have developed our own unique methodology to achieve this. There are 3 basic components of our procedures:
Hold My Hand
Guardianship of an orphan/needy child
Hold my Hands acts as a guardian for sponsored children and works closely with education centers and teachers and participates in many educational activities on one hand and on the other, works with psychological support centers to ease out the troubled and traumatized minds of these children.
In a nutshell we do the following:
i) We establish a communication with the caretaker of the child.
ii) We register them with a nearby informal school or public school, whatever matches with the education level of the child
iii) We work closely and collaborate with education centers/schools to watch over the attendance and progress of the child and prepare a 4 monthly report, which can be shared with the guardians, if they wish to do so.
iv) If the teachers in the school identify any psychological or behavioral problem exhibited by the child, we make arrangements to send the child to a Psychological support Service center in Amman, if needed.
v) We look after the nutrition of the child by either providing at least one prepared meal or by giving a food basket to the family on monthly basis, whichever is more useful and practical.
Educational Support : While we stay focused on our objective of giving guardianship to a child, education is inseparable part of this program. So we work closely together with the teachers and offer our help and services whenever possible. This also makes it possible for us to keep watchful eyes on our children.
Psychological Support : Another valuable partner of Hold My Hand is “Happiness Again”, a beautiful center for psychological development of a mentally disturbed child. It is managed by Layla Midani, a displaced Syrian herself, who can relate to the children naturally. The children are examined and observed by trained and qualified psychologists and offered a remedial and healing program for a period of 3 months to begin with, which can be extended according to the need of the child. It is an intense effort trying to bring a traumatized child back to normalcy….. It is a journey filled with tears and smiles!
Supporting a kitchen
Ramadan Food Baskets