February 2018
Aleppo children

Aleppo: mending wounds of the little Syrians

Basel * wakes up every night with the fear of being hit by a missile. His father was mutilated three years ago and now has prosthetics instead of his hand and legs. “He is blind – says little Basel – because he also lost his eyes during the war. He is always angry and sometimes he hits me … But I always forgive him, because I know he is suffering a lot “.

Hassan is 12 years old and can neither read nor write. He loves playing soccer with his friends and one of his biggest dreams is to be able to meet Messi one day. “Before I came here, my friends and I would collect sheets of paper to make a soccer ball and play” says Hassan. But they could not play in any other place but the street in the rubble, with the risk of getting hurt.

Aida is 7. The war destroyed her family in the same way it destroyed her house. She has been abandoned by her parents and she no longer receives the attention a girl her age deserves. Aida is shy, but every time the teacher sits next to her and teaches her to read with love and attention, she opens up into a heart breaking smile.

These are just three of the 150 children who participate in after school activities offered by the Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land in Aleppo. The war has taken away a lot from them. They are vulnerable, helpless, fragile, with deep psychological traumas. Together with the Custody, Association pro Terra Sancta considers its priority to help these children, because they are the future of Aleppo.

The post-school project offers the chance to study and play to children like Hassan, without any risk. It offers girls like Aida the attention and care, the ability to express themselves and be themselves. It offers to all those like Basel a hope and a support within a humanity torn by pain.

In the Franciscan centre children are divided into small groups according to their levels of learning so that they can learn together with highly trained teachers and educators. Besides the three hours a day of recovery lessons in all subjects, they also follow other extra-curricular activities such as sport, dance and drawing. Many of them draw for the first time in their life and through this medium, they express all their hidden pain.

In addition to the important support in the physical reconstruction of apartments in Aleppo, the Association pro Terra Sancta has at heart the activities of spiritual reconstruction and psychological support for the young generations torn by the conflict. It is important to intervene in the to mend, as far as possible, the deep wounds that afflict these little Syrian children.

Help the children of Aleppo!

* Names in the text have been changed to protect the children’s privacy.

share facebook twitter google pinterest print send
related stories

Aleppo: forgiveness and charity to rebuild peace (April 2019)

Damascus. The long way towards recovery and the new enemies of Syria (April 2019)



Syria: Mons. Abou Khazen on the ongoing situation in Damascus (March 2018)

“At least 40 shells in Damascus today. Hundreds wounded”: updates from Ayham, ATS pro Terra Sancta, on the ongoing tragedy (February 2018)

Recalling Christmas: The precious gift of the Franciscans to the children of Aleppo (January 2018)

Faith, Hope and Charity in Aleppo. Last stop of our trip to Syria (November 2017)

Oasis of charity in Damascus. First stop of our trip to Syria (November 2017)

New Homes for Aleppo (November 2017)

Aleppo: “We have to rebuild everything, but we are not alone” (October 2017)

Updates from Syria: “We’re going back home, but it is not over yet!” (August 2017)

Witnesses from Syria: Sister Iole, missionary of hope in Damascus (May 2017)

Six years of war in Syria and the tireless efforts of ATS pro Terra Sancta alongside the population (March 2017)

The rising of Aleppo (February 2017)

In Damascus the Franciscans Keep Their Doors Open (February 2017)

Aleppo is free but a real peace is still far away (December 2016)

The Franciscan church in Damascus hit by a mortar shell. Association pro Terra Sancta at the side of the Custody of the Holy Land (November 2016)

Syria: The Association pro Terra Sancta relaunches the appeal for peace made by the Franciscan Order (October 2016)

War in Aleppo: updates from the friars in Syria (August 2016)