Stories

”Just one night’s sleep in peace”

Winter in Lebanon’s northern settlements

“Help is a dream”- Raya

“I’ve been living here for over six years with my family. Each year we’ve faced challenges and have gotten by with some help, however this year help is a dream” said Raya, who is in Lebanon since fleeing Syria.

The informal settlement where Raya lives is in the northern district of Akkar, Lebanon near the Syrian border. “You cannot imagine how cold it gets here during the winter. We are near the coast, with very harsh winds and weather conditions. I have nothing to cover my kids with properly at night and when there is a storm coming, it becomes unbearable” she said emotionally, wiping away a tear from her eye.

“This year we received no help from anyone, only challenges.”

A few moments later, Raya continued. “There are train tracks that run straight through the piece of land where we are standing. These tracks go all way the way past the Syrian border. Not long ago, people came and removed our sleeping area. They took everything; our blankets, mattresses and whatever remaining plastic sheets we had. They left us with nothing,” said Raya as she pointed to the ground where the previous sleeping area had been.

“Over here you can see at the roof how the plastic sheets are ripped open. When it rains, it pours down on us. There is nothing to protect us from the cold and rain. Every year, we try to collect sheets from places nearby, however this year it has been difficult with the pandemic” she said. “We are hungry, restless and we are tired of living in constant fear of everything. All we ask for is one night’s sleep in peace.”

Many Syrian refugee families like Raya’s find it extremely difficult to cope during the cold winter. “I cannot thank you enough, I will always keep you in my prayers,” said Raya as our team made their way to the next tent.  Medair will provide Raya, along with other families in the North Lebanon settlement, a kit of blankets, mattresses and essential shelter items such as tarps and rope. We hope these simple items will at least make it easier for Raya to sleep.

You can provide support to people like Raya and her family. To donate now, click here.