Homes for Families in Syria
Alive but Homeless After Their Home Collapsed in the Earthquake.
Father of five, Mahmoud thought he had finally made a step toward stability for his family when they moved into the little two-story home in northern Syria. Displaced for nine years, the family had been forced to flee violence from the war five times before the earthquake.
His wife, 9 months pregnant woke up from an early morning bad dream and went down the stairs to use the bathroom. “Before I could climb back up the stairs, I felt the earth moving under my feet. I ran up to my husband and grabbed our two-year-old while he took the rest of the children to run outside. We watched as the second floor where we were all asleep moments before collapse in front of us.”
Mahmoud’s wife gave birth after the family moved into a tent abandoned by a relative. The tent sits directly on the ground. There is no cement slab underneath in which to protect them from the floods and mud that freely flows into the tent when it rains. “I have this beautiful newborn but I’m still weak from giving birth and there’s no rest or comfort. Ever since the earthquake, we all wake from nightmares and the lasting trauma of that day. The tent is cold and we can’t afford to heat it properly. My baby just cries and cries.”
This family has attempted to start over so many times that they are losing count. Mercy-USA is providing semi-permanent shelters for families like Mahmoud’s so they will have a safe shelter that not only protects them from winter cold and rain, but from snakes and scorpions that seek shade during the scorching hot summers. The shelters have a bathroom, a kitchen, a sleeping room all raised above the ground to keep out the rain, creatures and vermin.
The shelter homes Mercy-USA has already built survived the earthquake without any significant damage. Families in our Shelter Home camps were grateful to endure the severe earthquake without any loss of life or even the loss of their homes.
We’ve been building safe shelter homes for families in Syria, now, after the earthquake the need is even more urgent!
Help Build Homes for internally displaced families inside Syria!
Nearly 3 million people are displaced in Syria. They are living on the dirt in crowded camps in tents. These tents are designed to last one year, and yet they’ve been in use for 3 or 4 or more years and are often in tatters or patched and repaired beyond recognition. They are cold in winter and sweltering in summer. A tent flap does not provide a single mother with children any security in an increasingly desperate situation. At least a third of these tent homes are headed by single women with children who make up half the population.
Families are desperately trying to survive in dilapidated tent homes that are miserable in summer without any protection from disease-carrying sand flies, snakes or scorpions. Winter is its own sort of hell when the cold rain arrives; the tents get flooded out and they offer no insulation from the freezing temperatures. Families are forced to walk outside in the cold mud and snow to use a communal bathroom with no security.
We have a solution
Mercy-USA has embarked on a better way to provide a dignified life for these families. We are building solid, insulated semi-permanent homes that feature windows and doors that lock, a bathroom, a kitchen—all raised above the ground to protect the inhabitants from the floods that ravage these camps every year. It’s a big project and for every home we’ve installed, there are a hundred more needed. We must deliver these homes to entire encampments at one time to ensure no disparity will exist between neighbors. A complete new shelter is $5,500 to install. Sponsor an entire home or combine your donation of any amount with other supporters to build homes for deserving families in Syria.
We need your help to raise at least $550,000 to build at least 100 more homes for desperate families.
All four of Om Sobhi’s children were born in a tent, (see above). She and her husband were displaced from their home and farm six years ago and have been trying to survive in a tent that grew more and more tattered with each year. (These tents were designed to last one year.) She cooked outdoors on an open fire year-round. In summer, the heat was stifling since keeping the tent flaps open meant disease-carrying sand flies and other pests would plague them through the night. In winter, the drafty tent did not keep them warm. Winter floods often meant all their bedding got drenched as mud and water poured in. When her husband found day labor (earning just a $1.50 a day), Om Sobhi and the children were vulnerable to anyone who wished to enter their tent home.
Now, their new shelter is raised above the ground, it’s insulated from cold and heat, there is a kitchen, sleeping/living room and private bathroom. The children can play, study and be safe at home! She told us, “It’s a hundred times better than a tent; it’s cleaner and it will be warmer in the winter. The windows and doors don’t allow the wind or cold in. Also, its secure! We can lock it down.”
🏠 Features of these innovative homes:
Durability: 10-15 years of hard use
Full insulation from cold and heat
The structures are waterproof
High privacy and sound isolation
Easy to repair or improve.
Mercy-USA will provide needed accommodations for persons with disability or mobility issues.
Will be installed above ground to avoid flooding that has plagued the camps for years.
Each home will cost $5,500 to complete. We need to raise enough funds to transform entire camps to avoid creating tension and disparity among neighbors.
🌱 Environmental Impact
Mercy-USA recognizes that it is crucial that we take steps to mitigate the effects of climate change in all that we do to help people. This project, like all our projects, will be implemented in ways to reduce our carbon footprint and empower the communities we serve with the knowledge and resources to respond to climate change. The materials used in these shelters are 95% recyclable, and more importantly, these shelters are designed to last 10-15 years, compared to tents and their poly sheeting that have a lifetime of one to two years in the elements.
The wastewater management system we install will allow for water to be reused for hard irrigation (trees). This is an important tool as it saves large amounts of water and directs it towards agricultural/irrigation purposes.
💡This is a pilot innovative shelter approach which will be more dignified for families compared to tents.
We must provide these semi-permanent homes to entire camps at one time so not to create tension and disparity.
❤️ We need Mercy-USA donors to help us with this big project. Support Today!