Signs of Winter Send Dread through Refugee Camps
The sound of rain thumps against the flimsy, plastic roof overhead in the middle of the night and it’s anything but soothing. Feelings of dread quickly fill the hearts of refugees at the very sound of it . . . because they know that when the rain starts, winter is not far behind it.
The blustery winds evoke memories buried in their minds for months—the misery they drudged through a year ago in endless rain and cold without proper shelter . . . the misery many barely survived.
Thousands of weary refugees in Iraq and Syria had dreamed that by this winter, they’d be home again—safe from the terror and violence . . . safe from the excruciating winter conditions. But today, their dream is yet to be realized. They remain homeless, penniless, and hopeless.
For millions displaced throughout the Middle East, the first signs of winter feel like a death sentence. Their makeshift encampments are no match for the frigid, damp air that seeps in through the cracks of their dwellings and settles in their bones.
Without blankets, heaters, or proper winter clothing, there is no relief.
“I ask my government if they [would] bring their families to live under the rain, and if they can see our children without clothes in this cold. We have nothing, especially the clothes. We are wearing summer clothes . . . I wish they could hear us,” one refugee told us.
Perhaps the most excruciating part is not the winter itself, but the heavy despair and helplessness it ushers in. For thousands of refugees forced to watch their trembling children sleep on the cold ground at night, we want our actions to say, we have heard you.
Those displaced by conflict in Iraq and Syria are well aware that the key to surviving the winter is preparation . . . and time is running out. We must equip these vulnerable men, women, and children with the resources they need before the cold temperatures begin to take their ruthless toll.
We must act now to provide wood-burning stoves, kerosene, blankets, winter clothing, food, shoes, medicine, and more. These basic necessities are the difference between life and death, and we have the opportunity to provide them to thousands.
Hope is so much more than a faint reason to believe things will get better. It is a tangible experience that allows one to believe restoration is on the way.
Hope is the rush of relief that shoots through a refugee’s weary body when a wood-burning stove emits its first wave of heat into the frigid air. It is the comfort of a warm, soft blanket in the middle of the night. It’s the joy that comes over the face of a child as he slides his tiny, numb toes into a pair of shoes for the first time in months.
Join us in bringing tangible hope to refugees in the heart of ISIS-affected areas before it’s too late. Today, we can save lives and lift up hearts through even the smallest gestures of compassion. No amount is too little.
Will you choose to reverse the effects of terror through the power of hope today?